Jeanne Newhall is a well-respected composer and sophisticated vocalist and her vast musical roots have impacted jazz and new age since the early '90s. But before her successful recording career, Newhall's musical dreams were firmly shaped during her early childhood when she began tickling the ivories at age six. The early teenage years of mastering the piano while growing up on a farm in her native Phoenix led Newhall to learn six Mozart concertos by age 15. Opportunities to attend some of the nation's most prestigious music schools such as Julliard and Eastman didn't strike her fancy, however. Newhall studied with Abbey Simon at Indiana University before earning a degree from Arizona State. By the late '80s she was serious about a recording and performing career.
1990's Novice showcased her intricate playing style and cathartic songwriting, but 1991's Conscience sparked Newhall's newfound voice. She tinkered with various styles of folk for Meeting Places (1991), but it was her holiday album Beautiful, for No One to See that gained Newhall a presence among the press. The Gavin Report praised the album, naming it "The Year's Top Synth Entry" for 1991.
Paying tribute to French culture and arts, Newhall issued French Cafe in 1992, her first for the Piano Street Series. Fascination, a classics album, followed shortly thereafter. 1994's ambitious musical adventure Zebra experimented with worldbeat ambience and honed her skills as a burgeoning singer/songwriter.
Two years later, Soul of My Own marked Newhall's finest vocal performance yet, and her appreciation for reggae and bluebeat was most enchanting. Cakewalk also from 1996, was the third installment in the Piano Street Series, and paid homage to W.C. Handy, Eudie Louis Bowman, and Noel Coward. Bedouin's Paradise (1998) was inspired by Gordon Wagner's poem entitled "Venice" and featured renowned saxophonist Kirk Whalum and guitarist Peter White.
The new millennium saw Jeanne Newhall staying close to family ties, particularly on the fourth Piano Street selection Esther: A Classical Piano Tribute. Released in 2000, this album was dedicated to her grandmother and featured some her favorite classical pieces by Beethoven, Dvorak, Bach, Handel, and others. E'Sensual, Jeanne Newhall's classy cool instrumental album, appeared in 2001. The following year, her tribute to the City of Lights, Paris Nights, arrived. 2006's Wild Blue, Newhall's Blix Street debut, found her singing pop classics from "These Foolish Things" to "Hungry Heart" as well as her own songs. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
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