Born: May 28, 1955 Primary Instrument: Piano
Based in Sydney, Australia, vocalist / pianist Janet Seidel currently enjoys a rare and enviable international reputation with 14 CDs released in Australia and also available in several other countries. In the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 2006 (UK) she is described as “Australia’s first lady of jazz”. On the other hand she is revered by cabaret aficionados overseas such as in New York’s Cabaret Hotline - “I had heard so much about this delightful jazz star from Australia, but I was still not prepared for this awesome performance. I have never been so thrilled by a performer - this lady is amazing - such pure clean vocals! according to the writer.
Janet has been performing jazz oriented material and the Great American Songbook in particular since her High School and University days in South Australia in the 1970s. She has been fortunate to work with some great Australian jazz musicians in her various groups. Her first CDs made in the early 1990s feature some potent jazz content from artists such as Tom Baker, Ian Date, Paul Williams, Bob Gebert, Billy Ross and Col Nolan to name a few.
Janet’s likes to tour with her jazz quintet, but more often now she travels with just her Trio with excellent guitarist Chuck Morgan and her brother David on double bass. It was with this trio that her first forays into the Cabaret world were launched in 2000 with a kind of personal tribute show and CD “Doris and Me” which has played successfully in many theatres and venues around Australia. The latest success in cabaret has been the show and CD, Delovely, which features a selection of Cole Porter songs recorded live at Sydney’s Woodfire Cabaret venue.
With 14 CDs to her name she has covered quite some ground stylistically and many have been nominated for awards. All have been well reviewed all over the world. Janet’s groups have toured Australia several times and played most important Jazz Festivals around the country. Internationally she has toured to many countries including UK, USA, Europe, the Middle East and many South East Asian countries.
Japan in particular has been a great success in the last few years with 8 CDs released there, with Janet booked to do many national tours since 2001 and she has been consistently named in the top 10 jazz vocalists in the Jazz Polls there. In June, Janet’s Trio toured Japan for 2 weeks for the Fujitsu Jazz Elite 2006 where they shared the bill with jazz diva Helen Merrill and the George Mraz Quartet. This was a prestigious tour and included major concerts in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka plus several jazz club engagements.
On her latest release Moon Of Manakoora Janet’s soft and sensuous vocals are framed by Chuck Morgan’s superlative work not just on guitar but more on ukulele. British writer Bruce Crowther notes, “his skill is startling”. The CD shot to No. 1 on the jazz vocal charts in Japan for 3 months in a row late in 2005. Back in Australia in May, this CD was named winner of the Bell Award for Jazz Vocal CD of 2006 at the National Jazz Awards in Melbourne.
Janet’s other favoured format is doing luxurious concerts with Orchestras, such as the Sydney Symphony or the upcoming December 2006 season with the Adelaide Symphony.