LIFE IS A CABARET OLD FRIEND !  What a wonderful joyous evening we shared with a sold out crowd on Friday Night February 25th!  Sammons Center For The Arts was celebrating their successful Cabaret Series launched in the spring of 2012.

Musical artist- vocalists of varying styles have graced the stage for Sammons Cabaret during the past 10 years.  After exiting my wonderful career in retailing in 2008 and pursuing music as a professional vocalist, I’ve had the great honor to perform my many shows for this wonderful cabaret series.   Cabaret is an up close and personal type of show for listening!

The first show in 2012 was certainly a special one as it honored my mother as a pianist with music directly from her era and her piano bench!

Then came 2014 with Johnny…Mercer that is…and wow, with lyrics to over 1500 songs someone could spend the rest of their musical life just singing his songs.  I do have loads of them in my repertoire!  He was just great.

Of course being a jazz gal, I love the music of pianist- singer- composer, Bobby Troup and definitely his wife    Julie London.  In 2017  I sang their  songs for cabaret.

While some people might think she didn’t have a great voice, I say she used her voice to her advantage and boy what a sultry diva she was and it totally worked for her.  I love her album covers!  Sexy for sure … yes… it was the 50’s and 60’s !  

Hooray For the Girls in December 2019 , the show name taken from a 1914 composition, allowed me to celebrate some of our most beloved female composers and lyricists of all genres.  I featured my musical director, pianist and oh so talented friend, Rebeca Cordes, on piano with our (RIP) bassist Jeffry Eckels.

This cemented the idea for an all female jazz group,The Satin Dolls Band and also tied back in to a famous Johnny Mercer song Satin Doll.

 I’m excited to be working on a new themed show  called “Nightclub” ! Inspired by little known vocalist Ethel Ennis.  I don’t want to give too much away yet, but, it will honor the many women singers who made the nightclubs hum and the songs famous.

All of this to say how very fortunate I have been in my musical career and to be affiliated in many ways with this wonderful  organization supporting the arts!  

Till we meet again, I’ll just keep on singing!   Carolyn

My labor of love for this Christmas season!

It was hard to decide should I or shouldn’t I produce a Christmas album with everything that was going on with the pandemic.  Then, I realized yes, we need this music, especially this year!  The project began in June and was completed the end of August.  My wonderful musical partners and I spread out in the studio masked up and made it happen.  The artful arrangements from my long time pianist and good friend Brad Williams combined with other stellar arrangements from another musical pal, David Pierce (Deep Ears Music) made this album come to life in ways I never imagined.  I had the concepts and they brought the music to life along with the (17 yes ) seventeen musicians playing on this project.  Coordinating everyone’s schedules in the studio for three weeks was in itself a feat !   I hope you enjoy these songs.  You can read more about them below.   I even have an original song from my singer – songwriter- pianist pal – Jeanie Perkins. You can stream the CD from your favorite platform like Spotify or even download them from Apple or Amazon.  I’m still old school so I love having the physical CD.

You can check it all out HERE.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and LOVE to you ALL!

 

It is with deep sorrow that my friend and supporter of

all things music has passed away.

Did you know…Robert (Bob) Hadsell held a BA in Chemistry from Cornell College and a PHD in Physical Chemistry from Northwestern. Yes, he was very smart and analytical. After a long career in the science field (he also could do html coding), Bob retired and found us …THE DALLAS JAZZ COMMUNITY. His photo taking at gigs and meeting musicians gave him a new lease on life and a bit of our collective jazz supporter fame!

Bob loved RESEARCHING the history behind The Great American Songbook, all things showy & musical. From Broadway and its beginning to the musicians, singers and dancers who performed, he would delve in for facts. He was INTRIGUED with tap dancers or any other form of performing that could enhance and add a spark to a jazz show. He loved uniqueness & even some kitsch!

The stage area was something he focused on. He was OBSESSED about LIGHTING and that the performance area be properly lighted for the singers and musicians. Many venue owners were taken back by his coming forward to discuss this with them but, many, took what he was saying to heart!

Bob became the unofficial PHOTOGRAPHER and helped promote all Dallas Jazz Musicians by taking photos at their gigs and posting to his Facebook page.

I know personally that not only myself, but the jazz community as a whole and his other his musical friends will miss seeing Bob at their gigs and public events.

By Carolyn Lee Jones

It’s finally here  and on October 27th 2018 I celebrate my ten year mark as a full time vocalist-bandleader.   These past TEN  blogs in 2018 have been a way for me to share my music projects and thoughts  with you and  to keep me inspired while I remember all that has been accomplished both this year and the past TEN YEARS.   

Many of you know that I had a long, successful and creative career before as a luxury gift buyer traveling the world.  Not many people have had that opportunity and I enjoyed every moment of retailing.   Music has always been a part of my life in some way and I knew that one day I’d make the leap and do it full time.   It is a business for sure and my marketing experience has certainly helped me.   In 2000 I really got serious about this idea and began preparing by 1st throwing myself a big birthday cocktail party & singing with a live band for the first time.  Thanks to Julie Bonk !  It was GLORIOUS and a little scary too!

So here I am, getting ready to have another great big evening to celebrate this occasion as I enter my 10th year.  The Kitchen Cafe is such a great listen room and fantastic dining spot it’s reminiscent of the small lovely music cabaret rooms of NYC.  I’ve put together a backing trio of some of my great musician friends whom I’ve made music with during these past years.  Friends are invited to ” sit in” during the 2nd set to help celebrate

I’m releasing a new single that’s soon to be on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and all of the streaming sites.  It’s my GIFT to anyone attending on the 27th.   The song is titled “I Was A Fool”, written by world renowned bassist, conductor and arranger Johnny Pate.  My good friend Jennifer Martin introduced me to him when she was recording one of his songs for her 1st CD.

Johnny arranged and produced Shirley Horn’s Travelin’ Light Album, wrote the music for Shaft In Africa in the 70’s, played with Ahmad Jamal Trio in th 50s and was the ABC- Paramount producer for BB King and many others.  Joe Williams pulled him out of retirement in Vegas to conduct and arrange some of his final projects.  Johnny is 94 now and I am so honored to have recorded this song (given to me in its original handwritten form ) upon my first meeting with Johnny a couple of years ago.  What a thrill! 

Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support these past TEN YEARS by coming to my various gigs, shows, house concerts, jazz festivals and on and on……  I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for me and look forward to being with you.   Till then…see you around town and THANKS!  Love , Carolyn