Although she has flown most of it under the commercial radar, jazz vocalist and songwriter Kelly Harland has had a long and versatile career as a singer. Harland's father was a jazz drummer and she grew up in L.A. listening to his favorite vocalists, a list that included Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Frank Sinatra, among others, while her mother was a collector of Broadway and movie musical soundtracks, so Harland received a good grounding in the vocal classics. She also fell under the spell of folk and rock, and by the early '70s Harland was writing her own songs, inspired by artists like Carole King and Joni Mitchell. After passing a demo tape to King backstage at one of King's L.A. shows, Harland began singing backup vocals in studio sessions for such performers as the Beach Boys, Merry Clayton, and Jennifer Warnes, and soon became a veteran session singer, working on countless projects and commercials. She relocated to Seattle where she joined the pop/rock group Lazy Racer, recording two albums with them in London for A&M Records, both produced by Glyn Johns. When the band split, Harland returned to Seattle, singing and gigging with Annie Rose & the Thrillers. She caught the ear of Charlie Daniels, who helped her get a deal with Epic Records, and she recorded a debut album, simply called Kelly Harland, for the label but it was poorly promoted and distributed and she left Epic to release a series of independent albums, including 2002's Twelve Times Romance and 2008's Long Ago and Far Away: Kelly Harland Sings Jerome Kern. Married to jazz bassist Chuck Deardorf, who also doubles as her producer, Harland is a regular on the Seattle jazz scene. She also branched out into record production herself, including steering through two albums by singer Michelle Wallis. Harland became a published author in 2002 when her book A Will of His Own: Reflections on Parenting a Child with Autism was published. ~ Steve LeggettPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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