BOP STOP at The Music Settlement is Cleveland's premier listening room: an intimate, acoustically pristine performance venue with sweeping views of Lake Erie.
September 16 from 8:00pm - 8:00pm
Armed with a provocative, whiskey-soaked tone, jazz vocalist Michelle Walker is a charismatic singer that uses an artful blend of blues, bebop, swing and soul with playful rhythmic expressiveness. Based in New York City, she bends the lines and pushes the boundaries of jazz vocal art. With rich colors and adventurous flexibility, she moves easily from a dark, deep tone to a mid-range, swinging lilt. Michelle is very versatile and blessed with a beautifully distinctive voice. She has a refreshing approach to arranging and interpreting often easily recognizable contemporary songs. In her upcoming release, Love Misery, Michelle brings together a collection of jazz standards, original songs and her arrangements of pop tunes that thematically chronicles a love affair. This latest recording project features Joel Frahm on sax, Ron Affif on guitar, Toru Dodo on piano, Michael O'Brien on bass and Willard Dyson on drums. Additional highlights of her career include multiple tours in Europe, performing in the Lincoln Center Women in Jazz Festival, touring with jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy and performing at the White House for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. Dave Nathan at AllAboutJazz.com says, "Walker demonstrates an extraordinary degree of musicality..." Michelle is often compared to Cassandra Wilson, Nina Simone and Betty Carter in style and tone but has develop her own unique sound and singular voice.
It is easy to see why this is looking to become a breakout year for Walker. In late Fall 2013, she performed at the 2nd Annual Belarus International Jazz Festival in the city of Minsk on the same bill as Vocal group TAKE 6. She followed that concert up with a 17 day / 10 city extraordinary tour in Russia performing at many Philharmonic Concert Halls around the country. The uniqueness of Walker is found her shifting,rhythmic, lyrical phrasing and her revived, unexpected arrangements of standard songs. Mike Joyce of the Washington Post says, "[Walker]...has a soul-comforting allure." Highlights of her career include opening on tour for jazz vocalist Rene Marie, Chris Botti, George Benson, Spyro Gyra, Terrell Stafford and Wynton Marsalis. She has also performed in concert with noted jazz musicians Joel Frahm, Dena DeRose, Benny Green, Ron Affif, Dan Tepfer, Robert Rodriguez, Benito Gonzales and saxophonist Sam Rivers.
Michelle studied classical voice at the University of Maryland and also studied at the Amsterdam Music Conservatory in Holland and the Stanford Jazz in Palo Alto, CA. Michelle was the first vocalist asked to perform at the "Hot Jazz" Concert Series which featured jazz veterans Kenny Werner, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, David Hazeltine and Jimmy Greene. Walker has performed throughout US, Canada, Russia, Israel England, Holland and most recently at Blues Alley and The Black Rock Performing Arts Center outside Washington, DC where she helped kick off the jazz concert season which has featured Russell Malone, Cyrus Chestnut and Ravi Coltrane. In early 2002, Walker released her debut recording, Slow Down, to critical acclaim. The recording received a Washington Area Musician Association (WAMA) Award nomination for Best Jazz and Debut Album of the year and also a national nomination for Best Independent Jazz Vocal album of the year. Walker spent the first years of her career working as a full-time vocalist in the Washington, DC area before she moved to New York City, where she currently resides and performs. While living in the DC area, the Washington Post placed her several times on its Top Ten Area Performers to see perform live. Michelle served on the 2003-2005 Executive Board for the DC Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE).
Michelle Walker, Vocals; Toru Dodo Piano; Steve Whipple, BassBack to Calendar