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Genres You Will Love
Moods: Type: Vocal Jazz: Crossover Jazz Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz

By Location
United States - New York

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Lauren Kinhan

When legendary Phil Ramone discovered and signed Lauren at a Bitter End performance
in NYC in 1997, people began to really take notice of this unique and fiercely creative
voice. With influences steeped in the jazz imperative, followed closely by her love of the
great singer/songwriters, she has morphed a style that borrows from both disciplines while
moving the original song forward in new and unexpected ways. Any way you look at it,
she’s a jazz singer with a broad imagination and an appetite for mixing things up. Phil calls
her a true songstress, “She is musical, lyrical, and really delivers vocally.”
Veteran vocalist and composer Lauren Kinhan is at the peak of her form as shown in her
latest project, Circle in a Square. Partnered with the great engineer and producer Elliot
Scheiner and seed money from a successful Kickstarter campaign, she has unleashed 12
exquisitely crafted songs that mean to push boundaries and buttons. “Beyond how
effortlessly and beautifully Lauren sings, I was blown away by what a great songwriter she
is,” Scheiner says. “Her songs will be considered standards in the future." Written primarily
through the jazz lens, Lauren set the songs on a traditional jazz trio set up and punctuated
it throughout with many special guests: Randy Brecker, Romero Lubambo, Chuck Loeb,
Donny McAslin, Joel Frahm and Gary Versace. Some songs live soundly in the jazz
framework, where others began as a traditional heads, but evolved into epic tales of loss,
wordless sambas and art songs full of longing. Passion and intuition are prevalent in
everything she does, and all the songs and guests were chosen to showcase their gifts and
get at the essence of each piece. Circle in a Square will be released January 7, 2014.
Christopher Loudon from Jazz Times wrote about Lauren’s acclaimed 2010 release
Avalon, “Sweet surprises lurk around every corner... shaping a pastiche that is hip,
intelligent and vibrant.” Lauren describes it as her “getting back on her bike CD.” Either
way, the musical muse was at large reconnecting with her writing and producing chops.
“Parenthood changes every thing, from the way you look at life, at yourself and at your
personal goals and limits,” says Lauren. Avalon was made over an 8 year time span, the
first tracking date occurring while she was newly pregnant and then put aside for future
reference. Dory and a Single Oar was an important outgrowth of that tracking session,
framing a new approach to melding jazz and singer/songwriter sensibilities. While the CD
meanders a bit more broadly than Circle in a Square, all signs pointed to her being on the
right path. Jewels like “Here is my Avalon,” string hued “Here After,” and “There Alone Go
I” are some of the crowd favorites. Jazziz publisher Michael Fagien said “I can’t stop
listening to it. She mines deep reservoirs of emotion and experience throughout.”
Since 1992, Lauren has been a member of the internationally renowned and veteran vocal
group New York Voices. Their career has taken them all over the world working with
many of music’s gems like Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Bobby McFerrin, Paquito
D’Rivera, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Ivan Lins and The Manhattan Transfer. In 2013 NYV
celebrated their 25th Anniversary with two new releases, New York Voices Live with the
WDR Big Band and their long anticipated Holiday CD, Let it Snow. And in 2014, they will
release their first DVD New York Voices Live at the Java Jazz Festival. Their ever
growing list of programs keep them busy with world class symphonies and big bands and
their successful education division has grown from offering Master Classes and Workshops
on the road to producing the annual New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp in partnership
with Bowling Green State University in Ohio. This camp has been a huge success
attracting students of all ages and phases of life from all over the world.
New York Voices shares two Grammy awards for their featured work on Paquito D’Rivera’s
Brazilian Dreams in 2003 and the Count Basie Orchestra’s Live at the Manchester
Craftsman Guild in 1997. They continue to use the choral canon as the backdrop for their
voices as evidenced in their 2007 release, A Day Like This.
Lauren’s versatility as a composer is evidenced in her contributions on New York Voices
CDs over the years, and co-founding two other super groups, Moss and JaLaLa. Moss,
made up of Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Theo Bleckmann, Peter Eldridge and Lauren,
released their self-titled CD, Moss, in 2008 to rave reviews. In 2010, it was included in
DownBeat’s ‘Best CDs of the 2000s’ issue. JaLaLa is short for Janis Siegel (The
Manhattan Transfer), Laurel Massé (founding member of The Manhattan Transfer) and
Lauren Kinhan, and they released their tribute to Johnny Mercer That Old Mercer Magic in
2009.
Her debut solo project, Hardly Blinking, was produced by Phil Ramone, Frank Filipetti and
Rob Mounsey, recording that exact set of music that was performed that fateful night at the
Bitter End. It shows off the influence that Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt and
Joni Mitchell played in her early writing. Expect categories to be dashed once again with
rock anthems sitting next to art pieces. “Ask Amelia,” “I Saw Love Today,” and “Heaven
and Earth” are particular high notes.
You can hear Lauren’s voice on the recent Bobby McFerrin project, VOCAbuLaireS, and
Ornette Coleman’s 1996 release, Sound Museum, Three Women. She toured with
Ornette, culminating with his 1997 Lincoln Center retrospective, “?Civilization” featuring
Billie Higgins, Charlie Haden and Gerri Allen. In 1996 Lauren and Japan’s star
guitarist/producer Jiro Yoshida teamed up to release Guitar and the Moon. The stellar
quartet, featuring Eddie Gomez, showcases her personal take on the standards.
Lauren served on the Board of Governors for the Recording Academy’s NY Chapter from
2008-2010. She has continued her work on the Grammy Career Day committee. Her
private teaching studio is in growing demand. She is a graduate of Berklee College of
Music.