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Singer/songwriter Laura Crema discusses creative evolution and influences
(Published: March 21, 2017)

Q: What/Who influenced you to get into music?

A: Billie Holiday was one of my first influences. I always sang and loved music but when I heard Holiday she moved me deeply and inspired me to study and play jazz.

Q: How long do you practice in a day/week?

A: I try to sing and play through tunes at least once a day. I am currently taking some piano lessons so that has me practicing as well.

Q: How was your first performance?

A: One of my first performances in the jazz vocal department was an open mic night at Simon Fraser University where I was studying. I was listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell at the time, and decided to sing an acapella version of Annie Ross's vocalese, "Twisted," inspired by Mitchell's version on Court and Spark.

Q: How would you describe your creative evolution between Spring Is Here and Blue Shadows on the Trail?

A: My creative evolution has kind of been like all my creative endeavors. I try to trust my instincts and follow my nose in terms of what inspires me. I listened to a lot of the great Brazilian singer Elis Regina and Tom Jobim recordings and played and sang a lot of bossa nova. I did record a CD in between called fotografia which featured a number of Jobim's compositions as well as a couple of originals.

How I came to record a country-inspired album? I always loved early country and folk music, my grandfather's favorite musician was the great Canadian country musician and songwriter Hank Snow. Along with Hank Snow and the Canadian-born Bob Nolan of the Sons of The Pioneers. I was inspired and influenced by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, k.d. lang, and of course, the genius of Hank Williams, Sr.

The song "Blue Shadows On The Trail" haunted me for years after I heard the cover on the John Zorn's recording of Disney tunes called Stay Awake. I had the sheet music for over five years before I decided I needed to sing it and from then the group of songs on Blue Shadows on the Trail followed.

Q: What keeps you busy when you are not into music?

A: My two children Seraphina, 11-years-old and Luca, 8-years-old, keep me busy when I am not playing music. I am also a contemporary dancer and do various projects involving movement and voice. I teach the Gyrotonic Expansion System and Pilates as well.

Q: What drives you?

A: I am not exactly sure what drives me but I do know that I do have a creative unrest that seems to propel me forward or I tend to go a bit crazy.

Q: What can you consider as the highlights of your career?

A: A highlight of my career has been having the opportunity to work with so many amazing people in music, dance and theatre. Studying at the Banff Centre with the legendary Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, and Extended Voice Master teacher Richard Armstrong. A five-week tour of British Columbia, including Haida Gwaii with the Karin Jamieson Dance Company. In 2016, a two-week tour of Denmark, playing with some of Denmark's and Europe's finest jazz musicians are all highlights.

More Information: http://www.lauracrema.com

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