Jacqui Naylor Quartet
"Dead Divas Society" Tour

Art Khu (piano, guitar), Jon Evans (bass), Josh Jones (drums)

"Naylor remains one of the most superbly arresting vocalists around." JazzTimes

Jacqui Naylor is currently on tour in support of the national release of her ninth recording, Dead Divas Society (Ruby Star / eOne Summer 2013). The recording and show pay tribute to the artist's favorite departed divas from Fitzgerald to Winehouse, Vaughan to Vandross. "Naylor has the chops and sensitivity to pull it off," says New York Times Magazine. "With her unique vocal style--- full and rich as Diana Krall's, yet idiosyncratic as Nellie McKay's and shot-through with a keen folk-rock sensibility---Naylor remains one of the most superbly arresting vocalists around," adds JazzTimes.

Naylor is a rare artist, known as well for her own compositions as she is for her sensitive treatment of jazz standards. "She is part jazz chanteuse and part folk-pop-leaning singer/songwriter. Naylor could easily get by performing only her own material, but her covers and standards are so appealingly original that her albums and shows wouldn't be the same without them," writes All Music Guide. On Dead Divas Society, the standards "Skylark", "The Windmills of Your Mind", and "Dream A Little Dream of Me" sit comfortably next to the more recent pop classics of "Back To Black" and "Never Too Much."

A master at bringing multiple generations and genres together through song, the artist has garnered much fame through the arranging technique she calls "acoustic smashing," where she successfully sings the lyrics and melody of a jazz standard over the groove of a well known rock or pop anthem. "Jacqui Naylor has brought new twists to the notion of melding jazz and pop tunes - without high-tech assistance," claims NPR. Check out her version of "My Funny Valentine" from Rodgers and Hart sung over the groove of ACDC's "Back In Black," "Black Coffee" from Webster and Burke atop Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," both from You Don't Know Jacq (Ruby Star 2008), and "Surry With The Fringe On Top" from Rodgers and Hammerstein over George Benson's "Breezin'," from Lucky Girl (Ruby Star 2011). On Dead Divas Society, Naylor sings the Nina Simone made classic "Feelin' Good" over the groove of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff," like they were written together.

Naylor's recordings have made the top 10 albums of the season in USA Today, Jazziz Magazine and The Washington Post and a full length documentary, A Portrait of Jacqui Naylor, was released in 2012. Her albums are available throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and she tours regularly in these regions at esteemed venues, including Ronnie Scott's London, Birdland New York, Yoshi's Oakland, Snug Harbor New Orleans, Jamboree Barcelona, Jazz Club Istanbul Turkey, Women in Jazz Festival Germany, Reus Jazz Festival Spain, Monterey Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and all Blue Note Clubs in New York, Milan and Japan.


For more information, contact: Patricia Phillips at 415.621.8237 and patricia@jacquinaylor.com


For immediate release

New live recording pays tribute to the jazz singer's eclectic influences

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, vocalist and songwriter Jacqui Naylor will release her ninth recording, Dead Divas Society. The 15-track disc will be issued by the artist's Ruby Star Records label (RSR-008) and distributed nationwide through eOne. The album was recorded live at the historic Coast Recorders in San Francisco in front of a studio audience.

The one hundred and fifty fans were not new to Naylor's eclectic song choices and were encouraged to submit selections from their own dearly departed dead diva drawer several months earlier. Ultimately, the recording pays tribute to the singers and songwriters who influenced Naylor and includes standards like Mercer and Carmichael's "Skylark," sung for Ella Fitzgerald, Legrand and Bergman's "The Windmills of Your Mind" for Dusty Springfield, and Schwandt and Kahn's "Dream A Little Dream of Me" for Cass Elliot. These songs sit comfortably next to singer-songwriter pop classics like "Back To Black," sung for Amy Winehouse, "Love of My Life" for Freddie Mercury and "Never Too Much" for Luther Vandross. All showcase Naylor's unique instrument, a smoky yet honeyed tone, with a wide vocal range that stands up to the recording's fresh arrangements.

Naylor and her band are masters of bringing genres from different generations together in a way that sounds organic. Their signature technique of arranging that Naylor christened "Acoustic Smashing" has her singing the melody and lyrics of a jazz standard while the band plays a pop classic or vice versa. On Dead Divas Society, Bricusse and Newley's "Feelin' Good" is sung for Nina Simone over the reggae classic of Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff."

Naylor never sticks to the obvious choices and includes lesser known gems like Haymes and Clarke's "They Say It's Spring" sung for Blossom Dearie, Mandel and Bergman's "Where Do You Start?" for Shirley Horn, Adamson and McHugh's "It's A Most Unusual Day" for June Christy, and Brown and Allen's "Gravy Waltz" for Sarah Vaughan. Even her song selection for Billie Holiday is refreshing, choosing Russell and Sigman's "Crazy He Calls Me" over Lady Day's better-known classics.

"I did a lot of listening for this recording so that I could honor the performers who most influenced my music by selecting songs that exemplify what I learned from them," says Naylor. Indicative, the artist includes a song co-written by Peggy Lee, "It's A Good Day" as well as her signature version of the Mercer and Phillippe-Gerard ballad, "When The World Was Young." And for Etta James, Naylor includes Hunt's "Fool That I Am," which James recorded multiple times in different styles.

Naylor attributes much of her success as a singer and songwriter to her tightly-knit band of almost a decade, including Art Khu on piano, organ and guitar, Jon Evans on bass and Josh Jones on drums. Khu and Jones are credited with all of the arrangements on the recording and the album was mixed at Evans Brick Hill studio in Cape Cod.

The quartet kicks off the Dead Diva Society Tour at Snug Harbor New Orleans May 18, followed by other U.S. cities throughout the year with highlights like San Francisco Jazz Center July 26, Catalina Jazz Club Hollywood September 11, Cellar Vancouver BC September 20-21, Jimmy Mak's Portland September 26, and Blue Note New York later in the year. More U.S. and European dates are available at www.jacquinaylor.com.


For more information, contact: Patricia Phillips at 415.621.8237 and patricia@jacquinaylor.com

"Her style of songwriting, coined 'Acoustic Smashing,' not only knits two separate songs together, but also removes the manmade barrier of genre to blend pop and jazz music in a way that is completely new."

Monterey County Herald