It’s been some time since we’ve heard from Shawnn Monteiro, jazz chanteuse extraordinaire. While the pandemic derailed most performance, Monteiro, who also spends a good deal of her time teaching jazz vocals in a university setting, managed to pull a recording together, and we’re all happy that she did.
You Are There, her sixth release overall and third for Whaling City Sound, is the gorgeous sound of a veteran vocalist whose artistry is crafted in the mold of Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McCrae, and Nancy Wilson. For the ride, she enjoys the company and support of two distinguished trios. The first half of the recording are with her regular working trio, which includes Michael Renzi on piano, Dave Zinno on bass and Steve Langone on drums. The second half is an earlier session at Brooklyn’s revered Systems Two studio, and features Kenny Barron on piano, Nat Reeves on bass, and Joe Farnsworth on drums. Trombonist Steve Davis and trumpeters John Allmark and Joshua Bruneau also make important contributions.
Monteiro handles her material the way a painter decorates a canvas with color. Her uber-talent lies in her ability to crush a ballad, whether it’s a sexy beast like “Alone at Last,” or a bluesy vocal like “You’ll See.” Her voice finds the loveliness between the notes, the subtleties of a lyric, the sincerity and passion of a song or a couplet or a simple line that comes straight from the soul, with a warm embrace.
Overall, the repertoire is split between standards-done in Shawnn’s uniquely tasteful and swinging way- and numbers that are less well known. In both instances, Shawnn makes her interpretations look easy, effortless. This, as most singers know, is quite difficult, but is what serves to separate Shawnn’s work from so many other jazz vocalists. She sets an example, a prototype, for how to deliver a song credibly, whether it’s old chestnuts or a lesser-known gem. Some who have heard this jewel of a recording have noted this is Shawnn’s best work to date. We heartily agree. But we urge you to listen for yourself.
Re-watch Shawnn’s July 9th birthday performance from Virtual AHA! Night: Set 1 / Set 2
Whaling City Sound‘s Jazz vocalist Shawnn Monteiro will be recording with long time friend, Jazz pianist and icon Kenny Barron. Both have spoken about doing something together for many years and now they are making their wishes come true. Monteiro and Barron will be at renowned Systems Two Studio, in Brooklyn, NY recording TODAY 9/22 and TOMORROW 9/23. Rounding out the trio with Kenny are Nat Reeves on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums.
Wed Aug 29 12 01:00 PM
Venue: Greenvale Vineyards
Address: 582 Wapping Rd., Portsmouth, RI, 02871, US Details: w/ Mike Renzi & Dick Lupino
Sun Sep 09 12 11:30 AM
Venue: Hartford Jazz Society Cruise
Address: Connecticut State Pier 152-198 Little Meadow Road, Haddam, CT, 06438, US
Details: 7 hours on the Connecticut River: Haddam to Long Island Sound and back
Reserved Tables: ALL BOTTOM DECK TABLES RESERVED. Tables of 10 seats on bottom deck $650.00 until Sept. 2, 2012; after Sept. 2nd., $750.00.
ALL RESERVED TABLES SOLD ONLY AT HJS OFFICE.
Bring your own picnic baskets, drinks and coolers. Hot dogs are available on board. Ice and cold drinks available free on the lower deck.
ADULTS ONLY! • NO PETS!
> BUY TICKETS (60.00 per person)
Shawnn Monteiro offers tribute the wonderful and all-too-overlooked jazz singer Carmen McRae in To Carmen with Love, a soulfully beautiful album. Monteiro sings in the same style as McRae once did, accompanied by a spare three-piece band; the songs are carefully selected from among McRae’s personal favorites. To Carmen with Love is a joy to experience for fans of jazz, and highly recommended. Midwest Book Review Library Bookwatch: June 2012
Shawnn Monteiro – To Carmen with Love 4/4 O’s Notes: Shawnn sings with her soul, reaching down deep like the early jazz singers. Specifically this is a tribute to Carmen McRae, not a trivial task but Monteiro pulls it off. She has the perfect compliment with her swinging trio including pianist Mike Renzi, Dave Zinno on bass and drummer Steve Langone. There are twelve songs that help us revisit memories of one of the greatest jazz singers (Carmen). — D. Oscar Groomes O’s Place Jazz Magazine P.O. Box 38430 Charlotte, NC 28278 http://www.OsPlaceJazz.com
To Carmen with Love
A Tribute to Jazz, A Tribute to a Talent, and a Tribute to One Artist’s Effort to Keep a Memory Alive
Tributes to the jazz greats of yesterday, performed by the artists of today, are many. But few of today’s artists can boast the same intimacy and familiarity with the objects of their musical affection as Shawnn Monteiro. On her new CD, To Carmen With Love, Shawnn pays tribute to the artistry of the legendary—but often overlooked—jazz vocalist,
Carmen McRae. But Monteiro, whose earthy voice and masterful phrasing is reminiscent of McRae’s, chose McRae for a few very good reasons …
“My dad Jimmy Woode,” she explains, “played bass with Carmen for quite a while, and my godfather, trumpeter Clark Terry did also. I used to listen to them tell stories about their time with Carmen and it was fascinating.”
The influence of Carmen’s music and the direct connection to it, takes Monteiro’s tribute to the next level. With a similar singing style, the same, spare three-piece band, and a love of the repertoire, Monteiro made it a mission to bring greater attention to the amazing craft and music of McRae. “I really want Carmen to be heard,” she says. “She was just a great entertainer, a great singer.”
On To Carmen With Love, Monteiro is helping to do just that. In preparing the album, which was produced by Monteiro and Mike Renzi, Shawnn took great care in choosing the songs she had a feeling were special to the singer. She sifted through her own three-dozen-plus recordings by McRae, and pinpointed the songs that kept popping up in their grooves: “That Old Black Magic,” “Lamp Is Low,” “Old Devil Moon,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” and “I Have the Feeling I’ve Been Here Before.” A few years ago, a former band mate presented Shawnn with a DVD of McRae’s last performance, recorded back in 1986. “All the tunes I loved were on it,” she says, and their inclusion convinced Shawnn she was on the right track. “She had a love in her heart for them, obviously.”
And so does Shawnn.
Along with recording and gigging, Monteiro shares her love for McRae and jazz in general as an adjunct professor at Rhode Island College and the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. Not only that, she deepens her commitment to the genre by giving master classes in jazz vocals all over the world —including in Italy, France, Croatia, Spain and more. She takes teaching as seriously as singing.
“I teach them about this thing we call jazz. It’s our American art form. I turn my students on to this music, and they say, ‘Oh my God! We’ve never heard this! And I tell them, ‘Unless you pass it on, it’s going to die.’”
On To Carmen with Love, Monteiro is doing her part and much more in keeping the glow of jazz alive. It’s in her heart, it’s in her performance, and it’s in every note she sings.
Featured Artists Shawnn Monteiro: vocals Mike Renzi: piano Dave Zinno: bass Steve Langone: drums Track Listings Old Devil Moon • Yesterdays • I Concentrate on You • Old Black Magic • You’re Looking At Me • Mean To Me • Come In From the Rain • Miss Brown • Speak Low • Nice Work • The Feeling • Nature Boy Quotes “Fresh and adventuresome … a dynamic presence.” — JazzTimesFeatured Artist: Shawnn Monteiro: vocals Mike Renzi: piano Dave Zinno: bass Steve Langone: drums Track Listing: Old Devil Moon; Yesterdays; I Concentrate on You; Old Black Magic; You’re Looking At Me; Mean To Me; Come In From the Rain; Miss Brown; Speak Low; Nice Work; The Feeling; Nature Boy Jazz vocalist Shawnn Monteiro’s father, bassist Jimmy Woode, played for the late, great Carmen McRae. So did her godfather, trumpeter Clark Terry. • As Monteiro listened to their stories and studied McRae’s work, she became an admirer. The influence of McRae’s earthy contralto voice and masterful phrasing comes through loud and clear in Monteiro’s own jazz stylings. • Ms. Monteiro has delighted audiences from the USA to Europe with her highly popular jazz repertoire laced with blues-oriented improvisations and the American Songbook. The true quality of Shawnn’s voice is best experienced in the ultimate setting of the club dates where her warm charisma can be personally felt by those fortunate enough to spend an evening with her • She continues to teach Master Classes all over the world, including one ongoing every summer in Italy since 1995. She is an adjunct Professor at the Hartt School/Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz , University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut and also Rhode Island College in Providence Rhode Island. • Her popularity continues to grow as club-goers from Los Angeles to Rome extol the special feelings they share as she lulls them into a mellow mood as only a sensitive jazz vocalist can do. The true magical quality of Shawnn’s exciting voice is best experienced in the ultimate setting of the club dates where her warm charisma can be personally felt by those fortunate enough to spend and evening with her. Promotion to Key Markets Label Hometown: New Bedford Artist Hometown: Providence Also:Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, San Jose, Hartford Also Available: Whaling City Sound, 022, Shawnn Monteiro, One Special Night JazzTimes – “fresh and adventuresome…a dynamic presence”
“Exciting, captivating and completely distinctive” is how most jazz cognoscenti describe Shawnn’s pulsating lyric style. Whether in the intimacy of a club date or the glitter of a Las Vegas showroom, Shawnn has delighted audiences from USA to Europe with her highly popular jazz repertoire laced with blues-oriented improvisations. Evident in Shawnn’s liveliness of lyrical phrasing and intermittent scat variations is the influences of Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan, from whom she draws that inner core of creative energy. But good genes help, too. Shawnn’s father was the late renowned bassist Jimmy Woode, veteran of the Duke Ellington band. Throw into the mix, a lot of musical inspiration and guidance from her Godfather, Clark Terry, and you come up with a combination that can’t miss. Percussion great and latin/jazz impressario Mongo Santamaria discovered Shawnn working in a club in San Jose, California and signed her on the spot to tour with his band. Shawnn electrified audiences as his only vocalist and female percussionist during that two-year circuit where she shared the stage with such greats as Stan Kenton, Celia Cruz, the Fania All-Stars, and Weather Report. Since then, Shawnn has shared the state with a prestigious list of notables jazz names: Clark Terry, Red Holloway, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster and the Basie Band, Nat Adderly, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Bobby Durham, James Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Keter Betts, Stanley Jordan, Ed Thigpen, Johnny Griffin, and Benny Golson….to name a few. Ms. Monteiro has delighted audiences from the USA to Europe with her highly popular jazz repertoire laced with blues-oriented improvisations and the American Songbook. The true quality of Shawnn’s voice is best experienced in the ultimate setting of the club dates where her warm charisma can be personally felt by those fortunate enough to spend an evening with her, She continues to teach Master Classes all over the world, including one ongoing every summer in Italy since 1995. She is an adjunct Professor at the Hartt School/Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz , University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut and also Rhode Island College in Providence Rhode Island. Her popularity continues to grow as clubgoers from Los Angeles to Rome extol the special feelings they share as she lulls them into a mellow mood as only a sensitive jazz vocalist can do. The true magical quality of Shawnn’s exciting voice is best experienced in the ultimate setting of the club dates where her warm charisma can be personally felt by those fortunate enough to spend and evening with her. Shawnn teaches a Master Vocal Class in Rome and Genova, Italy every summer. (Ongoing since 1995) Artist in Residence – 2 Years at Rhode Island College (Jazz Vocals) She is also an adjunct Professor (in Jazz Vocals) at both Rhode Island College, Providence, RI and Harrt School of Music, Univ. of Hartford, Hartford, CT.
Publicity: Broadway World, Jazz News, JazzTimes, The Boston Globe, The Borderland, O’s Place, All About Jazz, Hartford Courant, Jazz Quadrat (Translation from Russian), Midwest Book Review, Warwick Beacon/Cranston Herald, Jazzofilo, allaboutjazz, Jersey Jazz (June issue), Midwest Record
Radio: American Standards by the Sea, WBLZ-Blazeradio, JAZZRADIODC.COM, Taintradio.org-Raleigh, WMVY-FM,WSHA 88.9, KMUW FM 89.1, WaxTrenzz, KZSC 88.1 FM, WNCW 88.7 FM, WDIY-FM 88.1 and wdiy.org, WNCW 88.7 FM, WRTC 89.3