Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

ARTIST NAME:  Jennifer Porter

 

SONG TITLE:  Bitter New York Night

 

ALBUM TITLE: Sun Come And Shine

 

RELEASE DATE: June 18th, 2021

 

GENRE: Singer/Songwriter, R&B
        
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Jennifer Porter is an award-winning singer, actor, and screenwriter. A musician’s musician blessed with a beautiful voice, Jennifer has performed a repertoire that spans from jazz and blues to country and opera. She has sung with classical and jazz orchestras, including the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.  Though trained as an opera singer and classical pianist, she considers herself a roots musician at heart, as she began playing piano at age five after sneaking out of bed to watch a boogie-woogie piano player named Maxine perform at one of her grand-parents notorious cocktail parties.  Jennifer is still most at home sitting at the piano and singing while banging out an old blues tune in a red-hot 88 style. 
Jennifer has recorded eight albums to date, and will be releasing her newest, Sun Come And Shine, recorded with legendary drummer and music director Bernard Purdie on June 22nd, 2021.  This sensational new project features Bernard’s stellar all-star band, and special guests, Grammy winners Christian McBride and Cindy Cashdollar and Grammy nominees Rob Paparozzi and C.J. Chenier.  Also contributing to the project are bassist Wilbur Bascombe, Steve Jankowski, and Tom Timko on horns.  
Jennifer’s previous album, These Years, which received international critical acclaim, was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Jay Newland and included special guests C.J. Chenier and Country Music Hall Of Famer, Charlie McCoy. These Years earned Jennifer a 2020 We Are The Music Makers award for Best Roots/Americana/Blues Album and a 2019 Independent Music Network award for Best Female Crossover Artist. She was also nominated for four other Independent Music Network awards including Favorite Country Female Artist, and Favorite Female Mainstream Artist.  Her song from These Years, “Road To Redemption”, hit #1 on National Indie Radio and the Independent Music Network’s, New Music Weekly’s, and National Radio Hits’ Country Charts.  The title track from These Years hit #2 On the Independent Music Network’s Mainstream Charts. 
Jennifer’s jazz album Easy Living (2014), with Grammy-winning producer, Lawrence Manchester, was nominated for a 2015 Independent Music Award in the Jazz With Vocals category and was heard on radio stations around the country, including KJAZZ in Los Angeles, WWOZ in New Orleans, and Public Radio International’s Jazz After Hours. 
Jennifer is also an esteemed actor, with more than 85 professional stage credits, including Patsy Cline in Always…Patsy Cline.  She starred in, and composed, and performed the film score for BALLAD OF IDA AND DOOB (1999) and wrote, starred in, and composed and performed the film scores for the critically acclaimed MR. BARRINGTON (2003), and the multiple award-winning 40 WEST (2011) for which Jennifer received awards for acting, original score, original song, and original screenplay. 
Jennifer holds a second-degree black belt in Tai Jujitsu, and has advanced training in Kali and Jeet Kun Do.  In 1989 Jennifer was the first vocalist in Maine inducted into the prestigious musical honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda, which recognizes excellence in both musical performance and academics.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and learning new languages.   
Jennifer is also a proud member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, SAG/AFTRA, and Actors Equity Association.

 

 

LYRICS:

 

Not a soul and not a sound
And our dreams a thousand pounds
Up to our knees, we made our way
In the cold

 

And on that bitter New York night
I heard the buzz of neon lights
I felt your hand so warm and tight
And the snow falling down
It’s coming down

 

With my head bent to the ground
I walked and cried without a sound
As I counted city blocks
Ticking by

 

And on that bitter New York night
I heard the buzz of neon lights
I felt your hand so warm and tight
And the snow falling down
It’s coming down

 

Let the wind blow all around
And the waters drag us down
I will hold your face to mine
And I will shine
I will shine

 

At last, you turned to me and smiled
And I could dance a thousand miles
And when we’re old and dance real slow
I will dream…

 

About that bitter New York night
And the buzz of neon lights
And your hand so warm and tight
In our dreams, we’ll go down
We’re coming down
In our dreams, we’ll go down
We’re coming down
And the snow is falling down
All-around

 

 

Discuss the processing involved in creating a song.
I don’t feel like I create the song. I obviously do, but for me, it feels like the song usually creates itself.  Sometimes it takes five minutes and sometimes five years.

 

Elaborate on the themes of most of your songs.
I mostly write about love and longing for a place to feel at home.

 

Tell us your greatest musical works up to date.
I’ve written and performed two film scores that I’m very proud of. My previous album “These Years”, received international critical acclaim, and garnered me a 2019 Independent Music Network award for Favorite Female Crossover Artist, and a 2020 We Are The Musicmakers Award for Best Roots/Americana/Blues album. My 2014 album, “Easy Living” was nominated for an Independent Music Award for Best Jazz with Vocals album.

 

Tell us those behind your music process.
I have a wonderful partner in my husband, Dana Packard. His belief in me is irreplaceable. I was honored on my newest album, “Sun Come And Shine” to work with legendary drummer, Bernard Purdie, as well as Grammy-winners, Christian McBride and Cindy Cashdollar, and Grammy Nominees, C.J. Chenier, and Rob Paparozzi.

 

Tell us your future goals and how you aim to accomplish them.  
Now that I’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, I plan to start touring again.

 

Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.
I think musicians are taken for granted too much. They are being expected to create for social-media content’s-sake, rather than following their own muses, and artistic inspirations. There is this drive to always hold the attention of your audience with constant new material rather than taking the time one might need to craft something special.

 

Tell the greatest mistake to avoid while making a song.
I think the greatest mistake in writing a song is to follow trends. Be timeless.

 

Explain the structure of the song.
“Bitter New York Night” is A, B, A, B, C, A, B, meaning it is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus. In the final chorus, the words are slightly altered.

 

Discuss how the instruments come together for a song.
My music is blues/jazz-based and so the instruments I choose are often what one might find in a jazz combo or a blues band. I play piano, so there is always piano and/or Fender Rhodes/ Hammond B3 in the mix. I like many different styles of American Roots Music so I might add a violin or pedal steel, or even a Zydeco-style accordion to a song if it feels right.

 

State your musical skills.
I am a singer who has performed many styles of music. I have sung jazz and blues, and opera, and on occasion, country. In fact, I played Patsy Cline on stage on three different occasions. As I mentioned above, I also play the piano.

 

List the name of artists you cherish most.
Professor Longhair, Pinetop Perkins, Joni Mitchell, Dr. John, Gladys Knight, and the Pips.

 

Tell us how you get inspiration.
I honestly don’t know.  The most mundane situation or a phrase or choice of word someone uses in a conversation can inspire me.  I don’t know why or how a melodic idea or phrase of lyrics comes to me, but I always have a small digital recorder nearby in case words or chord changes, or melodies come into my head.

 

Elaborate on the song.
“Bitter New York Night” tells the story of one of the loneliest nights in my life. It was also one of the times in my life when I’ve felt the closest to another human being. It was during a Blizzard in New York City, and Time’s Square was completely empty but for me and my husband. We felt like the only two people in the whole world. Between us, we were carrying the very heavy negative and sound reels from our first feature film in a large duffle bag while walking through snow up to our knees as we made our way to our car to begin a cross-country trip to Los Angeles.

 

Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
“Sun Come And Shine” is also the title track from my new album. The song is about asking for a little gift from the universe. The gift of sunshine and the happiness it can bring.

 

Share your press release and review with us.
Maine-based roots and blues singer-songwriter Jennifer Porter teams up with R&B legend Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie to unleash her most compelling expression yet ‘Sun Come And Shine’.
Seven albums already under her belt, award-winning Jennifer astounds from the instant with an unmistakable charm that is challenging to refuse. Finding influence from the greats, including Van Morrison and Pinetop Perkins, Jennifer paves the way forward with a unique angle while fusing a subtle nostalgic hint from yesteryear. Harmonically rich with a striking vocal tone, Jennifer expresses herself in multicolor with her vocal delivery and piano prowess. She tells a profound message of belonging and being present for those she cherishes. It is a poignant narrative with exquisite music accompanying her performance. Blood Sweat and Tears’ trumpet player, Steve Jankowski, adds his star quality, as does Tom Timko on the sax. Bernard Purdie gives the tracks a robust foundation with his drum arrangement while Wilbur Bascombe, Dan Boone, and Angelo Savini play bass. Miho Nobuzane adds a golden touch with Jennifer on the keys, and George Naha provides the cutting edge with his irresistible guitar riffs.
Jennifer also brought in several other Grammy-winners, including Christian McBride and Cindy Cashdollar and Grammy-nominees Rob Paparozzi and CJ Chenier. All of them helped capture the exhilarating American roots soundscape. So, looking for the most exquisite roots and blues? Look no further than ‘Sun Come And Shine’ by Jennifer Porter.

 

 


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