The Stanford Jazz Workshop presents a special songwriters program charged to inspire, instruct, facilitate and empower songwriters and musicians alike to craft meaningful songs through self exploration, collaborations and band performances led by critically acclaimed musician and songwriter Rebecca Martin.
This year, Rebecca will be joined by her special guests, acclaimed singers and songwriters Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens.
About the instructor: Rebecca Martin
With eight critically acclaimed recordings for both major and independent record labels, Rebecca Martin has performed and recorded her own original material and standards with Jesse Harris (as her partner in the 1990’s group ONCE BLUE), Paul Motian, Brian Blade, Larry Grenadier, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Chris Potter, Steve Cardenas, Bill McHenry, Jorge Rossy, Matt Penman, Ben Monder, Darren Beckett and others while gracing the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard and other notable venues all over the world. She is revered by the New York City jazz scene, and been praised countless times by the New York Times, showing up on their best of the year and critic pick lists for almost a decade. In 2010, Rebecca spearheaded the ‘Songwriters Track’ program for the Stanford Jazz Workshop and continues her effort in celebration of our 40th Anniversary in 2011. Rebecca currently records for the Sunnyside Label out of New York City.
“Songwriter Program” Special Guests 2011
One of the most widely respected young singers in jazz, Gretchen Parlato has an enchanting, sensual voice, a highly personal jazz style, and unlimited potential. Parlato won the coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004 and released her self-titled debut the next year, followed by In A Dream (ObliqSound) which Billboard Magazine called “the most alluring jazz vocal album of 2009″. Her latest CD, The Lost and Found, has garnered early acclaim for her revealing and sensitive compositions about embracing the ebbs and flows of life. In addition to touring with her own group, she has collaborated with artists including Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Barron, Esperanza Spalding, Oscar Castro-Neves, Diane Reeves and others. Gretchen Parlato, to whom improvising seems as natural as breathing, has an immaculate sense of timing, nuanced phrasing, and the ability to make the impossible sound effortless.
The North Carolina-bred, New York-based singer/composer/guitarist’s status as a lifelong music-maker is more than apparent on the Becca Stevens Band’s Sunnyside debutWeightless. The sparkling 12-song set reveals the accomplished young songstress to be a startlingly original, refreshingly distinctive talent.
Since 2004, Becca has served as lead singer of Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, fronting a genre-bending 18-piece jazz orchestra interpreting the songs of Björk. She toured and recorded with, and written lyrics for, jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, and will debut at Carnegie Hall as featured singer with pianist Brad Mehldau this Spring. Stevens’ work has already received copious praise from the likes of The New York Times, who described her as “a best-kept secret” and called her debut indie release Tea Bye Sea “impressively absorbing.” Weightless will be released by Sunnyside Records on April 19, 2011.
* Although auditions are not necessary, all participants must be 17 or older and committed to the songwriting process. Songwriters and musicians are invited to attend.