It might seem strange to describe a singer as hip as Clairdee as a throwback, but she’s an artist who embodies creative values that have largely gone out of style. With her lustrous voice and soulful delivery, she hearkens back to a time when jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues often blended seamlessly together. Combining scene-stealing charisma with heartfelt humility and a sincere belief in the transformative power of music, Clairdee has honed a repertoire of standards set to state of the art arrangements that are equally smart and entertaining.
I am a jazz inspired storyteller, Clairdee says. I choose songs that have some relevance to my life experiences and to human vulnerabilities. I want the music I sing to stir emotions, to make a connection, to be accessible.
It was her finely honed jazz sensibility and old-school attitude about the importance of communicating with audiences that attracted legendary manager John Levy to the San Francisco-based singer. For Levy, who has worked with many of jazz’s greatest artists, Clairdee’s gift for putting her own stamp on a song while capturing its essence has broad appeal.
I remember when you could clearly understand all the lyrics and every song was a story, says Levy, who has always had an ear for jazz originals. At 93, he’s worked with many of the music’s greatest artists, including some of Clairdee’s biggest influences, such as Shirley Horn, Joe Williams and Nancy Wilson, who has found in Clairdee a kindred spirit
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