ABOUT ELAINE LUCIA:
It's not easy to decide which facet of Elaine Lucia's musical talent is most impressive. The growing audiences are enraptured by her amazing voice with its warmth. She has a singular ability to take obscure and well know songs by everyone from Ellington and Jobim to Joni Mitchell and Bob Dorough, and make them her own. On top of this, she pens some great originals. Then there's her ability to coax the best out of the musicians who so much enjoy working with her because of her arranging inventiveness. No wonder these facets are bringing Elaine increased recognition.
Elaine's formative years and career shows why she is one of the rare true jazz singers where her classical background is a definite asset. Raised in upstate New York, she first sang in choirs and local musical theater productions, most times walking or riding her bike the many miles from her rural home to rehearsals in the nearby town. She taught herself to play the guitar, piano, and flute, and formed or sang in countless ensembles, performing everything from classical to country, to jazz, rock, and R&B.
Elaine began classical vocal training at age fifteen, studying opera and the classical repertoire with the local opera company. During high school, she won a summer scholarship to attend the Chautaqua Institute for the Arts, and after graduating early from high school, she won a theater scholarship to the State University of New York at Binghamton. Elaine performed in various musicals, but a turning point came when the opening night for a play in which she had a leading role coincided with an opportunity to sing with Marian McPartland (Elaine was the vocalist with the university's big band, and Ms. McPartland was the guest artist). That did it, and the musical road was what she chose. Two years later she auditioned for and won a vocal scholarship to attend Eastman School of Music. While there, Elaine continued to study the classical repertoire, but immersed herself in jazz. She performed with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and spent weekends performing at jazz clubs. When federal grant money was cut at the end of Elaine's first year at Eastman she took a trip to California, supposedly for a year, but never went back.
Within months she was recording backgrounds and performing with her own jazz group at clubs in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Elaine's following grew over the years, and she's developed a reputation among sidemen as a "musician's singer," a vocalist with an eclectic song list and her own unique arrangements and interpretations. "I always wanted to be one of the boys, and I felt I had something to prove musically. I treat my voice as a fine instrument, and I train it and use it just like any serious instrumentalist would." Other gigs included her guitar and vocal version of the National Anthem, (which she has performed at the Oakland Coliseum for the Golden State Warriors for the past twenty seasons), and countless nightclub and background vocal recording sessions.
Elaine continues to perform regularly with her jazz quartet in the Bay Area, and recently released her latest CD, “A Sonny Day,” a sunny, sparkling tribute to her late father, Frank “Sonny” Lucia, who greatly influenced and supported her musical career. She is carrying on her writing and guitar playing and is currently recording a vocal/guitar project of all original tunes. (Notes by Michael Lipskin, jazz historian and renowned stride pianist.)
ABOUT "A SONNY DAY:"
“A Sonny Day,” is a tribute to my late father, Frank “Sonny” Lucia. He was simply my best friend. He was my biggest supporter, always cheering me on during the ups and downs of my life and music career. He was at every show or performance I was in as a child, and attended countless jazz gigs and festival dates I played as a vocalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
My dream was to record this CD and give it to my father to thank him for all he had done for me, but that was not to be. After he passed away, it took four years to complete this project. My memories of him and the love he gave so freely sustained me throughout the process, and I could feel his presence each time I worked on it. He would have loved this record, and I hope you will too.
“A Sonny Day” is a “day in the life of” concept, beginning with Duke Ellington’s prayerful “I Like The Sunrise,” and ending with the hymn-like homage “Final Remembrance.” After the sunrise song, the ‘day’ progresses with songs that serve as metaphors for life’s journey. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the songs gain in intensity and climax at high noon with a samba treatment on “I Only Have Eyes For You.” The day goes on, the sun begins to set, and the songs get quieter as we remember and dream of those we love, and those we’ve lost. “In The Land Of Make Believe” and the lovely song “When The World Is At Rest” are like lullabies, ushering in night time, where the bittersweet song “You Are There” reminds us that our loved ones are never truly gone; they live in our hearts and within the small moments of every day life that evoke cherished memories. The last song, “Final Remembrance,” was originally an instrumental song by vibraphonist Gerry Grosz. I heard the song on the day of my father’s funeral, and the simple, beautiful melody haunted me for days. I wrote the lyrics shortly after, and it says all that was in my heart on that day.
Jonathan Alford - piano
Pierre Archain - bass
Alan Hall - drums
Gerry Grosz - vibes
Dave McNab - guitar
Michael Goodell - guitar (on "I Call You Sunny" and "When The World Is At Rest (solo))
Jeff Kashiwa - sax
Engineered, Mixed, Mastered and Co-Produced by Jamie Bridges, A Room With a View Studio, Petaluma, CA (firstname.lastname@example.org)