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Jazz Vocalist MICHELLE WALKER performs debut concerts across The Republic of Kazakhstan and The Russian Federation, celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day
(Published: April 30, 2016)

Press Release

New York, NY, April 30, 2016: New York City based Jazz vocalist MICHELLE WALKER will be touring across The Republic of Kazakhstan and The Russian Federation in support of Jazz Appreciation Month, International Jazz Day and promoting her new CD titled "Love Misery". The tour includes performances in the cities of Karaganda, Almaty, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Rostov-on-Don.

The Philharmonic Hall in Karaganda, Kazakhstan called The Palace of Culture of Miners, hosted the first show of the tour on Thursday April 21, 2016 at 6:30pm with the hall big band and Igor Andreichenko Conducting. The City of Almaty, Kazakhstan hosted two additional concerts on Friday April 22, 2016 and Saturday April 23, 2016 at The Aurora Space, a performing arts center in the city center. The tour moves north to Russia with concerts and master classes planned at The Esse Jazz Club in Moscow, N.C. Jazz club in Rostov, The Institute of Art, Music and Drama in Krasnoyarsk and The Fort Grande Jazz Club in Perm on April 30th, International Jazz Day and more.

This tour is in conjunction with a multi-city international promotional campaign in support of Michelle's latest CD release "Love Misery". Michelle has recently returned from headlining at the JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL in Jakarta, Indonesia where she shared the bill with Chris Botti, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling, Monty Alexander and The Yellowjackets to name a few. In addition to the performances in Indonesia, she is touring in the USA, Russia, Middle Asia and well as debut performances in Thailand. On July 21st, Michelle will return to Birdland Jazz club in New York City.

Over the years, the month of April has been viewed as Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout the entire month of April. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently identified the day of April 30th as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people of all corners of the globe through music. Michelle is thrilled to be among the multitude of musicians celebrating the rich history of Jazz on APRIL 30TH with a diverse concert program in Perm, Russia at The Fort Grande Jazz Club playing with a number of international musicians on this wonderful jazz music day.

JGP RECORDS has released the sophomore recording of vocalist/arranger/composer Michelle Walker titled LOVE MISERY. The CD is a collection of tunes that thematically chronicle a love affair from the first hello to the final goodbye. The first half of the CD highlights songs of passionate love. On her take of the Nat King Cole favored tune Nature Boy, it showcases Michelle's panache and talent for arranging easily recognizable tunes, breathing new life into old songs. On the track Dance with Me, the 1970's popular rock tune originally recorded by the band Orleans, Michelle has arranged a tender and passionate mix-meter ballad that she and Frahm soar expertly through. The second half of the CD is about the sorrow and misery love can bring. Stand out tracks from this half of the recording are her brilliant arrangements of the classic Billie Holiday standard Detour Ahead and Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. The recording begins with an air of childlike enthusiasm for new love. With each new song on the recording the music grows progressively darker and wiser.

It was important to Michelle to record with her working band. For over five years they have been playing not only on the New York jazz scene but have been traveling in the US and abroad. Michelle notes, "There is something to be said about playing with musicians that truly know you. We have developed a tight bond that is resoundingly evident in our live shows as well as on this recording."

Having lived in the New York City area for over 7 years after relocating from Washington, DC, Walker quickly established herself as one of the most respected singers in New York by both her vocal peers and instrumentalists for her interpretive depth and musicianship. Birdland Jazz Club hailed of Walker after her sold out debut performance at the club as "....Masterful!" Walker also performs regularly at Smoke Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, Jazz at The Kitano and The 55 Bar to name a few. Walker was a finalist in the 2007 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition and has been nominated multiple times by the Washington Area Music Association awards (WAMA) for best jazz vocalist, best recording, best jazz group as well as receiving an Indie Award for best independent vocal jazz recording for her debut Slow Down.

Michelle studied vocal performance at The University of Maryland, College Park as well as the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music. Privately Michelle has studied one-on-one or in master class with jazz luminaries Mark Murphy, Betty Carter, Dena DeRose, Madeline Eastman, Nancy Marano, Benny Green, Christian McBride, Steve Davis, Jeff Clayton, Eric Reed and her mentor the late Pam Bricker. Mark Murphy, impressed with Michelle as a student, asked her to perform with him on tour.

Michelle has such a tender and honest sincerity in her vocal approach. Her warm and sensual voice sears straight through you, captivating you to the point that it feels near impossible to let go. There is also a uniqueness to her delivery giving her an original voice; a truly difficult thing to not only strive for but achieve in a crowded scene of vocalists seeking attentive listeners and fans. "I try to just imagine myself as the listener....asking myself what do I want to hear, learn or walk away with from this show. I like to also imagine myself giving people a very personal message and delivery tailor made for them in every song." Walker describes of her style.

In the years since transplanting herself in New York City, Walker has performed in over 1,000+ concerts in the US and over 150+ concerts throughout Europe, Russia, Israel and Far East; From the Polar North to the mountains of Mongolia, from the shores of Japan to the Mediterranean Sea. Walker has also performed at The White House for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and performed in festivals opening for Wynton Marsalis, Take 6, George Benson, Chris Botti, Rene Marie and others.

Born in Bohmholder, Germany, Walker has lived in the US since she was 3 years old. The daughter of an Army Captain and very active homemaker mother, who insisted all her children study both music and dramatic arts. "We moved around the world a lot and I think my mother was concerned we would not have many friends so she enrolled us in Community Theater where ever we moved to keep us active and social." Walker has been performing on stages since she was five years old. "On long drives across the country my mom kept song books in the car that she led us through singing to pass the hours on the road. By the time I was ten years old I think I knew well over 1,000 tunes by heart. It was second nature to me, but now musicians stare at me perplexed that I know so many songs."

She has a deep voice that has exceptional richness. Her 5 octave range and truly soulful, expressive interpretations of songs leave listeners in awe. With her unique delivery, informed arrangements and beautiful warm tone, Michelle Walker is poised well for a grand career as one of her generation's best new voices in jazz.


For more information, please visit www.MichelleWalkerJazz.co...


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JGP RECORDS is a New York, NY based independent jazz and world music record label launched in June 2001. As a boutique label, the objective is to offer inspired improvised music by up-and-coming artists, arrangers and composers who are motivated to push music in fresh and exciting new directions. JGP RECORDS is establishing itself as an active producer of exploratory music. It is home to both established and exciting new talent.


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