Originally from northern Minnesota, Sony fell in love with jazz while spending a year in Paris and has earned a devoted following worldwide with her renditions of standards, contemporary classics, and original songs. She has made San Francisco her home since 2003 and performs internationally.
ON A SAN FRANCISCO HIGH is a collection of 11 original songs. It was first recorded in 2003 but this "new" edition features brand new vocals, a remix, new artwork and eco-packaging. The first edition of SF HIGH was selected as the BEST VOCAL JAZZ CD, with the BEST ORIGINAL JAZZ SONG (Chestnut Street)in the JPF Independent Music Awards, and was also one of the top selling Jazz Vocal CDs at CD Baby.
Despite her sunny good looks Sony is a performer who knows what it is to pay her dues. She started her career on the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf and sang there in the wind, cold and rain, through good times and bad. “None of the other street musicians thought I would last, but I was determined to make a living out there.” That means spending hours singing when few tourists are about, simply to guard one’s turf. She explains, “I never minded the hostile elements or the slow nights because I understood that you need to put the time in to get your voice strong.” “People would constantly ask me what I was doing out there. They don’t understand how few well-paying jazz venues there are and how expensive it is for an independent musician to travel with a band.”
To keep herself working Ms. Holland often goes from playing a club like NYC’s Blue Note one night, to performing at a black-tie event the next… and then she’ll go out the following morning to sing for tips at a Nor-Cal Farmer’s Market! It keeps things interesting. “I always think of what my first bass player said. He was an old-timer who had toured with some of the biggest names in jazz and he’d tell me, “Whether you’re playing Carnegie Hall or a neighborhood dive, remember they’re all just joints.””
Partially to deal with the expense of traveling she encouraged her songwriting husband to beef up his jazz chops on the guitar. Now they often perform together in concert venues and cafes as a duo. “Jerry has a simple rhythmic approach to playing jazz tunes that audiences really enjoy even if they’re not huge jazz fans.” His compositions have also added freshness to her repertoire.