Art Beat: Well known local folk singer releases her first jazz CD

Club Matthews hosts a jazz series featuring four performances throughout the year at the Matthews Opera House in Spearfish.

In this week's Art Beat we meet a well known local folk musician who will release her first jazz CD tomorrow with the help of some talented friends.

When she was 12, Jami Lynn started singing old-time country, there was the experiment with punk rock in high school and after studying vocal music at USD Jami ventured west to the Black Hills.

By that time she was a true folk and bluegrass singer, but there was that other genre of music that she always had an affection for.

Jami Lynn, Musician, says "The first four albums I've put out have been in folk music. I play primarily banjo and acoustic with various groups and that's kind of been my happy place for a number of years, but I've always been doing some sort of jazz project on the side and maybe not as often, maybe I get together with other jazz musicians once or twice a year, but it's always been there."

Jami was influenced by a famous jazz musician who's voice has always captured the attention of the listener.

Jami Lynn, says "But even in my high school years that's when I started listening to BIllie Holiday and I fell in love with her voice and like, just the devestating quality of her voice and balance and kind of her life story and so I guess that's what first got me into jazz music in the first place."

During Friday's performance Jami will formally release her jazz album which is mostly original music.

When writing, it's usually the music that comes to her first.

Jami Lynn, says "And I think for me it's usually a lick. I hear a few notes in my head that just keep hanging out until they find words and sometimes the words don't mean anything until I sit down and decide what it's about. It's usually just a melody or maybe a bit of a hook on an instrument on a guitar or a banjo."

This talented musician usually plays solo ... but this time she'll be backed up by five well known musicians for that full band sound.

Some say jazz is hard to listen to or too complicated, but Jamie likes how in vocal jazz, the singer can take the audience through the music and help them understand it.

She also appreciates how with jazz you never hear the same show twice.

Jami Lynn says ", I get to change it every time and that's exciting. It's exciting to listen to other people and to play off of them or how they're feeling or what they're adding to the song and I get to respond to what they're doing and they respond to what I'm doing and it changes everytime and that's something as a performer, it's something I never get sick of. I love it."

Jazz with Jami Lynn and Guests is Friday at the Matthews Opera House at 7:30.

She will have her new CD available at the performance and it will also be up on sparsejazz.com