If one had to describe the jazz vocal style of Elissa Lala in just three words, they would be passionate, evocative and distinctive. The daughter of a professional trombonist, Elissa Lala grew up in Philadelphia and began singing professionally at the age of five. By the time she was in her early teens, Elissa was doing background vocal sessions at Philly’s then explosive Sigma Sound Studios. Although heavily influenced by R&B, she’d be quietly singing Michel Legrand’s “You Must Believe in Spring” while walking the Philly streets to that all girl Italian high school. Cleo Laine’s rendition of the ballad hit her hard
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