By: Amy Heimpel
Photo: Ian Molesworth
Jazz singer Brenda Lewis is the rare type of musician whose best instrument is herself. The woman has a voice that is both powerful and controlled and confirms that the best days of jazz- of Etta James performing at smoky New Orleans’ pubs- are not over.
What makes Brenda Lewis so impressive isn’t only her natural talent but her years of experience. She has been singing professionally for twenty years in all genres-in gospel, funk, R&B, and as part of country/blues duo, Lewis & Molesworth.
Lewis has had the eclectic career many jazz artists dream of. She has lent her vocals to many albums, including her own releases like 2010’s collection of cover songs, Jazzlike. A mainstay at jazz festivals across Canada, Lewis has performed at prestigious concert series at the McMichael Art Gallery and has honoured her idols at several tribute shows like the Colleen Peterson Memorial Concert in Toronto. Last weekend, Lewis played three slots at the Waterloo Jazz Festival, an incredible success as always.
In order to fund an upcoming release, Brenda Lewis is enlisting the help of her devoted fans (detailed below in a personal statement.) It’s not always easy out there for a musician, so show your support in any way possible. For added incentive, check out an audio clip of “I Just Got Back.”
Statement from Brenda Lewis
This new project will continue the journey (from my last CD) of well-crafted, jazzy/rootsy songs but this time moves more into my bluesier / R&B / Motown / soul side. And I’m excited about that! Again, we promise to sound true to how we are “LIVE in concert” – you deserve that . A few more special guests will join my longtime music partner – guitar wiz Margaret Stowe (http://www.margaretstowe.com) and I.
It takes a fair amount of cash to put out a CD, with costs ranging from paying musicians, sound engineer/producer and songwriters – to photography/graphic design of the packaging, right through to manufacturing the final product and promoting it. Like most musicians, I hold down a number of jobs/careers in order to pay the usual living expenses, so recording a new CD – while a necessity (for getting more work in festivals/concert series) is also a bit of a luxury …
If you enjoy my music (or just kind of like me for my odd sense of humour or whatnot), please help to make this next CD a reality by PRE-PURCHASING A CD (or as many CDs as you like; they make great Christmas / Hannukah / Kwaanza gifts . Or make a larger donation – Should you be feeling philanthropic, you’ll find all sort of “rewards” on the right hand side of the page for various levels of donation
If you prefer to pay by cash/cheque (not credit card), there is an option for that – at no extra charge. Just drop me a message and I’ll tell you how that works.
And, if you don’t have the funds to help out financially, I would still be ever-grateful if you would help to spread the word about this campaign by sharing this website with your own friends and contacts.
A BIG thanks – and warmest regards to all,
Donations and pre-purchases can be made here.
Brenda Lewis will be performing at “Art In The Open” in the Elora Greenspace on the Civic Holiday Monday. A listing of future performances can be found here.