CELIA LA BIO BIOGRAPHY
A new and very promising voice on the jazz scene, Celia La is an up-and-coming singer and songwriter with a great deal of youthful potential. She has plenty of respect for the tradition even as she modernizes standards and moves them into the 21st century.
Her debut recording, Introducing Celia La, sums up where the singer is at the moment while hinting at a bright and productive future. She met with pianist Bill Cunliffe when it was time to record and, with the exception of Randy Newman’s “I’ve Been Wrong Before,” all of the arrangements on the CD are hers. “I suggested that Bill get together the musicians. He mentioned Mark Ferber who I had heard perform several times and turned out to be one of my favorite drummers. Bill also recommended Pete McCann on guitar and he has known bassist Martin Wind for some time. I knew alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel from seeing him perform in Brooklyn and I always liked his playing.”
On Introducing Celia La, the singer and her band perform five jazz standards, selections from Newman and James Taylor (“Fire And Rain”), and a pair of songs for which La’s music was joined by Allen Bundy’s words. “I chose certain tunes because I really liked the melody or the lyrics spoke to me, or both. I wrote ‘Little Star’ when I was dating an astronomer and he was gone on a trip. For ‘Without You,’ Allen came up with the lyrics first and then I wrote a melody that went along with his words. Overall I like music that is subtle and goes through several moods.” Among the many highpoints of this impressive debut are the haunting wordless harmony of voice and alto on “All Of You,” the expressive singing on Etta James’ big hit “Don’t Go To Strangers,” the sensitive piano on “Little Star” and the interplay between Celia La, Bill Cunliffe and Peter Van Huffel on a thoughtful rendition of “I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face.”
Celia La was born in San Diego and remembers, “My mother listened to Karen Carpenter, James Taylor, the Beatles, Elton John and music of the time while my Dad loved classical music. I started taking classical piano lessons when I was five and had them for many years.” Celia sang in the church choir in middle school and the school choir in high school, contributing some of the arrangements, and touring Europe with the honor state choir. At a piano recital, Celia heard an older boy playing a Gershwin Rhapsody and that led to her exploring a Gershwin songbook and jazz. She attended UC Berkeley and was the vocalist and pianist with the big band while graduating with a degree in computer science. However she soon knew that music was what she had to do.
During her period living in Los Angeles (2000-2004), Celia La went to jam sessions, performed in clubs and really got her professional start. Since moving to New York, she has sung locally, worked in Canada and the Carribean, and spent two months in 2007 performing in Japan, often appearing as a singer-pianist.
Celia La names Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Cassandra Wilson, Kate McGarry and Astrud Gilberto as among her favorite singers. “I prefer vocalists who have a great sense of time, like Shirley Horn who really understood the lyrics. In the future I want to travel more and play my music for new audiences. I want to stretch my music beyond having the melody, solos and then the closing melody, trying different compositional forms and frameworks. I hope to write more songs and lyrics and would like to explore less traditional jazz and even music that is beyond jazz. Studying and absorbing music is a constant goal of mine. And I want to record much more because making this recording was one of the best times of my life.”
Celia La clearly has a great future, with Introducing Celia La being her important first act.
For more information about this talented and attractive young singer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org