Mar 30, 2019
‘Who are you, where have you been, and why am I just hearing you now?’
That question seems to be a common thread running through the rising career of singer Quiana Lynell. A transplanted New Orleans resident via Texas, her musical world was strictly gospel music until she attended school in Louisiana. She earned her degree in Vocal Performance, concentrating on classical music. Expanding her musical horizons, she worked the New Orleans scene while keeping her day job at AT&T, and then caught a break and began teaching at Loyola University. Word of mouth got her onstage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where Terence Blanchard was knocked out by her jazz sensibilities and strong singing. He took her to Europe on his next tour, and helped mentor her. From there it was a short leap to her victory in the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and a recording contract..
A Little Love, her new CD on the Concord label allows her to show her continued growth as an artist. Produced by Brian Michel Bacchus (Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright), a man who knows a thing or two about how to present the best side of a jazz singer, A Little Love lets Quiana cover tunes ranging from the soul of Donny Hathaway and Irma Thomas to jazz classics from the Gershwins, Duke Ellington and Dr. Billy Taylor. Backed by a top-notch band of Cyrus Chestnut on piano; long-time collaborator Jamison Ross on drums; Ed Cherry on guitars; George DeLancey on bass; and Monte Croft on vibes the result is a showcase for a real emerging talent. Quiana will be on the road with her trio through the summer, including a spot at the 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles in June. Seems like more people will be asking that question again and again: ‘Who are you, where have you been, and why am I just hearing you now?’
Podcast 671 is my conversation with Quiana Lynell, as we talk about her journey to a major label recording, her work with Terence Blanchard, and how she views the business side of her musical career. Musical selections from A Little Love include "They All Laughed" featuring Jamison Ross on vocals with her; “Come Sunday / I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)”;and “Sing Out, March On.”’