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Jacqui Naylor

Jacqui Naylor is not an easy artist to categorize. There are times when she performs straight-ahead vocal jazz, but at other times she favors more of a folk-rock/adult alternative approach. Depending on the mood she is in at a given moment, the northern Californian can bring to mind anyone from Cassandra Wilson or British jazz vocalist Claire Martin to Sarah McLachlan or Shawn Colvin -- she is as comfortable among jazz improvisers as she is in the singer/songwriter world. During one of her live performances, Naylor has no problem singing smoky jazz one minute and folk-rock or adult alternative the next -- and there are times when she blurs the line between the two.

Naylor, who is very jazz-friendly but far from a rigid jazz purist, brings a long list of influences to her introspective work -- influences ranging from Billie Holiday, June Christy, and Nina Simone to Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Carole King, and Sheryl Crow. That is an unlikely combination of influences, certainly, but it is one that works well for Naylor (who has used all of them to fashion a personal, recognizable style of her own). Naylor has a highly diverse repertoire; on-stage, she is likely to perform a Tin Pan Alley standard right after something by the Rolling Stones or Talking Heads (in addition to performing songs of her own). Naylor is not an overly aggressive or forceful type of singer; she favors subtlety, restraint, and understatement, which are things that Holiday and Christy (one of the goddesses of jazz's cool school) were both masters of.

Born and raised in Saratoga, CA, Naylor attended San Francisco State University after graduating from high school in the '80s. Naylor entered that college to study marketing, but along the way she became interested in drama and acting -- and after hearing the album Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin in a music appreciation class, Naylor became seriously interested in vocal jazz. However, she continued to study marketing and earned a marketing degree from SFSU in 1991. After graduating, she spent six years as the marketing director for the well-known clothing designer Lat Naylor (her husband). But she studied music on the side, and from 1991-1995, she studied with the San Francisco-based jazz vocal teacher Faith Winthrop.

In 1996, Naylor's work in clothing design required her to spend a year in New York City, where she studied vocals on the side with Shirley Calloway (mother of cabaret/traditional pop singer Ann Hampton Calloway). Naylor returned to northern California in 1997 -- and at that point, she gave up the clothing business and made music her primary focus. Naylor became a recording artist in the late '90s, recording her self-titled debut album in 1998 and releasing it on her own independent label, Ruby Star Records, the following year. She went on to record several more Ruby Star releases in the 2000s, including Live at the Plush Room in 2001, Shelter in 2003, and the two-CD set Live East/West: Birdland/Yoshi's in 2003 and 2004. ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Dead Divas Society

1. Skylark

2. It's A Good Day

3. Back To Black

4. Where Do You Start?

5. It's A Most Unusual Day

6. Feelin' Good

7. Love Of My Life

8. The Windmills Of Your Mind

9. When The World Was Young

10. Gravy Waltz

11. Crazy He Calls Me

12. Never Too Much

13. Fool That I Am

14. They Say It's Spring

15. Dream A Little Dream Of Me

x

Track List: Lucky Girl

1. Lucky Girl

2. Nothing Could Be Better Than You

3. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top

4. Since I Love You

5. It Was Supposed To Work Out

6. Only Love Can Break Your Heart

7. Dreamin' Prayin' Wishin'

8. Moon River

9. Sunshine And Rain

10. I Promise

11. Angel Eyes

12. Close The Door

13. You're My Favorite Person

14. I Can't Make You Love Me

15. Beautiful

x

Track List: You Don't Know Jacq

1. How Deep Is Your Love

2. Summertime

3. Celebrate Early And Often

4. Losing My Religion

5. Black Coffee

6. Dreamin' Big With You

7. Thank You Baby

8. Tell Me More And More

9. Miss You

10. This Is The Spot

11. Something Cool

12. Shelter

13. Rise Up

14. My Funny Valentine

15. Ain't No Sunshine

16. City By The Bay

x

Track List: The Color Five

1. Blue Moon

2. Hot Legs

3. Easy Ride From Here

4. Summertime

5. Love Gets In The Way

6. Sit And Rest A While

7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

8. History Of Love

9. You Don't Know What Love Is

10. Love For Sale

11. Angel Of Mine

12. Lola

13. Losing My Religion

14. Drive On

15. Here's To Life

x

Track List: East/West (Live)

Disc 1

1. Thank You Baby (Live)

2. Once In A Lifetime (Live)

3. We'll Fly (Live)

4. For What It's Worth (Live)

5. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (Live)

6. Don't Let The B**tard Get You Down (Live)

7. My Funny Valentine (Live)

8. The Wind (Live)

9. But Not For Me (Live)

10. Julie's Song (Live)

11. It'll Be Fine (Live)

12. Me & Mr. Jones (Live)

Disc 2

1. City By The Bay (Live)

2. Black Coffee (Live)

3. Angel (Live)

4. So Far Away (Live)

5. Calling You (Live)

6. Money (Live)

7. Before I'm Gone (Live)

8. Cheese Puff Daddy (Live)

9. Peace In Our Lifetime (Live)

10. No Moon At All (Live)

11. Christmas Ain't What It Used To Be (Live)

12. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Live)

x

Track List: Shelter

1. Shelter

2. Before I'm Gone

3. Miss You

4. I Remember You

5. Free My Love

6. All For You

7. Climb Higher

8. Winter

9. Take This Chance

10. Cheese Puff Daddy

11. If You Know Love

12. Love And Affection

13. Tired

14. Fall

x

Track List: Jacqui Naylor

1. Lazybones

2. Nocturne

3. What A Little Moonlight Can Do

4. I Love You So

5. Tell Me More & More & Then Some

6. May I Come In?

7. The Way You Look Tonight

8. I Cover The Waterfront

9. Something Cool

10. Embraceable You

11. Can't Help Singing

12. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

13. Two Sleepy People

Comments

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Just wonderful. Very inspiring. Her version of moon river came on the radio one night when i was having a **itty day. Made it so much better.
Report as inappropriate
Welcome
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rffian73
Startlingly original. Her "My Funny Valentine" is a tour de force....of latent passion.
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I Like it, Allright girl
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mansked
Come to the Dakota Club in Minneapolis!
Report as inappropriate
Awesome Jazz vocalist. Thank you Jacqui, for keeping Jazz alive.
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awesome performance at blues alley last night
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Did not know of her until hearing this rendition, amazing, will be looking for more from her!
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jazzymarie1
Hadn't heard Jacqui until now. Like her
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Haunting...t e l l s her own story.
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pat.taylor7
She reminds me of Diana Krall..beaut i f u l song!
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I catch her sets whenever she visits the east coast. What a voice and quite a band!
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Like no one else!
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shawnlike4
One of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard, backed up by an amazing band, especially Art Khu.
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Recently spent a mystical evening listening to Jacqui on a tiny dot of an island in the Caribbean during an impromtu concert. She and her talented husband are the warmest and most talented people I have heard in years. Many thanx
Report as inappropriate
different kind of voice. In a very good way.

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