Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

'Joyful' jazz maven Jeannie Tanner talks traveling, newest CD
by Sarah Toce
2014-02-12

This article shared 5932 times since Wed Feb 12, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Her musical style is a force to be reckoned with and she approximates her odds well. With a miniscule amount of force, her melodic voice cuts through the proverbial thickness surrounding humanity as a whole and dives into a new environment waiting to be nourished. Chicagoan Jeannie Tanner—who has been with her life partner for almost seven years—has her work cut out for her because now that fans know what they can expect, they want more, and more, and more … and she might just give it to them.

Windy City Times: Congratulations on your new CD, Joyful Season! What can your dedicated fans expect from this release?

Jeannie Tanner: Thank you so much. This new album is evergreen, so it will be great for next year's holiday season as well, and the next, and so on. [I wrote] five original songs on Joyful Season, along with new arrangements of traditional holiday favorites. All of the songs have been signed for television and film projects by Heavy Hitters Music in L.A.

Four of the five songs I wrote are songs all about the holidays, and the New Year, that don't really mention specific holidays, so they are songs of the season—about love, etc… Although the first track, "Christmas in a Cup," is all about the spirit of Christmas. The lyrics are: "A little cheer, joy and kindness, mixed with season's greetings; spending time with family, sprinkled with good tidings. Laughter is the spice to add, for this recipe of love—a drink that will always warm your heart, it's Christmas, in a Cup."

WCT: In what ways is the music different on this CD than your previous ones?

Jeannie Tanner: Well, this CD features a new drummer, Darren Scorza. Darlene DuFay, my good friend and longtime drummer—who is amazing, and she played drums on my last four albums—decided to relocate out of Chicago and focus on her photography, so Darren has become my main drummer. We've been working together for about a year now. He brings a different kind of energy to my music, which I love.

This album also features an orchestral arrangement by [pianist] Lisa McQueen of my original song, "You're My Gift Forever." Lisa wrote the film score for the movie Scrooge and Marley that was filmed and released here in Chicago in 2012. And finally, this project was literally recorded live in about four hours, and then mixed/mastered—with graphics designed—in a week. Everyone had such tight schedules, so we finally found a day and just did it. It was recorded two weeks before Thanksgiving and released on Thanksgiving. Bam! That's how we roll!

WCT: Your music has been selected by major television studios and has been Grammy-considered. Have you had the "pinch me" moment yet?

Jeannie Tanner: I've been incredibly blessed to have had, and continue to have, so many wonderful opportunities. Being a full-time musician is amazing, and just recently, yes, I had to "pinch myself," when I found out that I had been nominated for a Chicago Music Award in the category of Best Female Vocalist; the ceremony is Feb. 23. Not to mention the VH1 show Single Ladies, produced by Queen Latifah, has been using one of my R&B tunes, "Feel With My Heart Again."

WCT: The Jeannie Tanner Quartet sounds like a close-knit family. Can you share with us a story or two from the road?

Jeannie Tanner: Well, "What happens in the band stays in the band…" We are a very tight group and I've had some really wonderful times on and off the stage with this talented group of musicians. We bond on so many different levels, but especially in dealing with the various venues and club owners—things can get kind of crazy out there. If you don't trust that you have each other's backs, it can be tough. We just laugh a lot, and because we love performing and creating music together, it's all good and it makes for good songwriting material.

WCT: In what ways have you accomplished your goals?

Jeannie Tanner: I am a working, full-time musician. That really is living the dream. I have songs that have been used in television and film, and I've recorded, produced and released nine CDs in the last 15 years, that include 90 percent of my original music. Those albums are on iTunes and CD Baby with worldwide distribution. My music has been played on the radio, TV, and on videos all over the world. I've performed in front of thousands of people including at the Taste of Chicago, singing the National Anthem for the Cubs, Sox and Bulls and at various clubs. And, I've shared the stage and recorded with some of the world's best musicians. Pretty cool.

WCT: In what ways do you still have a long way to go?

Jeannie Tanner: I would really love to compose music for film scores. I wrote a score for an independent short a few years ago that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, but nothing ever happened with it after that. So, I've still got a long way to go in fulfilling that dream. I also want other well-known singers to sing my original songs. I would love to tour the world performing my music. I was hoping to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival this summer. So, as my mom used to say, "We'll see."

WCT: As an award-winning composer, vocalist and trumpeter, what fuels your creativity?

Jeannie Tanner: Life fuels my creativity when I write. World events, my experiences/personal life and those of my family and friends, always seem to end up as melodies or lyrics in my music. And when I sing or play trumpet and I'm improvising, the spontaneity of the creative moment makes me feel like I can fly. Seriously—it may sound trite, but it's really true. There's no drug that can do that on a consistent basis, without those nasty side effects, like premature death. Hey, not to be morbid, but in my business, "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" is, well, not a cliché. I think because we're all searching for the next high if there's not a healthy release, it can lead to dangerous choices. I've always chosen music, and although I've gone down many difficult roads chasing my dreams, I'm doing okay these days.

WCT: Are you at times more inspired to write, play or sing? Or is it a good mixture of all three for you?

Jeannie Tanner: Well, because I perform three to four nights a week and sometimes more, I hope I can pull it together to be inspired for each show. Some nights are better than others, but I always give 150 percent. I perform a lot of solo shows where I play piano and sing, and those are the hardest because it's just you for four or even five hours.

I live for collaboration, so it's a real gift when I can perform with my band—whether it's duo, trio or with my quartet. And, when it comes to writing, sometimes I'm truly inspired, but there are times when I've been given a job or I'm writing for a specific idea/theme for a show and I just have to do it. Creative inspiration is wonderful and, thankfully, most of the time there is a good mixture of being inspired to write, play and sing.

WCT: When you're having one of those down-in-the-dumps days, what music do you turn on to make yourself feel better?

Jeannie Tanner: Even though I perform and write mainly Jazz-Pop these days [a mixture of jazz, pop, R&B and Latin rhythms], I still listen to a lot of pop radio—along with NPR. If I really need to get myself going, I like Pink, Adele, Justin Timberlake, and a lot of Train's music. I also put on a little Maroon 5 or Jamiroquai. Sometimes "Glory Box" by Portishead does the trick, and I'll probably lose my "Jazz license," but hey, good music, is good music. I have several French CDs that I really love when I need a pick me up with tunes like "Assedic" by Les Escrocs and anything by Paris Combo. I have very eclectic musical tastes, but good music, no matter what genre, can be a great pick-me up.

WCT: Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Jeannie Tanner: In the jazz world, I've always been a fan of Herbie Hancock. He's an icon—a great piano player and composer—and it was awesome in 2008, that his CD River: The Joni Letters [music of Joni Mitchell] picked up the Grammy award for Album of the Year.

I also really admire the innovation of bassist and vocalist extraordinaire Esperanza Spaulding. Justin Timberlake is one of my favorite pop musicians, because he is so multitalented. He writes, arranges, produces, sings [and] dances, and he's an amazing dramatic and comedic actor. I also love Harry Connick Jr. and Alicia Keys for the same reasons as Justin. I'm also a huge fan of Sarah McLachlan. I love her lyrics. I still enjoy Peter Gabriel, and I seriously adore the harmonies of the Civil Wars. Love the talented Cyndi Lauper—so gutsy with "Kinky Boots," and, I still enjoy what Bonnie Raitt and Dolly Parton bring to the party, because they're such gifted writers, singers and musicians.

Catch Jeannie Tanner with the Jeannie Tanner Quartet on Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, at Pete Miller's in Evanston. The band will play 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Visit www.petemillers.com for more information.


This article shared 5932 times since Wed Feb 12, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Mombian Database' released 2021-01-13
- Mombian columnist Dana Rudolph has released the Mombian Database of LGBTQ Family Books, Media, and More, with more than 500 books, music albums, movies, games and toys for and about LGBTQ families. The site offers multiple ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Tales' star dies, 'Wonder Woman 1984,' holiday songs, 'Drag Race' 2021-01-05
- Marcus D'Amico—the original Michael "Mouse" Tolliver from the miniseries Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City—died at age 55, Queerty noted. In 1992, he also originated the role of Louis in the National Theatre's London run of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After" 2020-12-23
- CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race,' year-end honors, 'Guardians,' Taylor Swift 2020-12-21
- VH1 unveiled a game-changing twist from the upcoming season of the Emmy-winning RuPaul's Drag Race, premiering Friday, Jan. 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, a press release noted. For the first time in Drag Race "herstory," queens ...


Gay News

Windy City Gay Chorus, Windy City Treble Quire present Let There Be Light 2020-12-15
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Windy City Performing Arts (WCPA), the not-for-profit parent organization of Windy City Gay Chorus and Windy City Treble Quire, is proud to announce its 41st annual holiday concert, Let there be Light: A ...


Gay News

PrideArts to screen A Not So Silent Night Tuesday, Dec. 15 2020-12-15
- To honor the tradition of gathering around with family and singing holiday songs, even in a pandemic. PrideArts is hosting a one-time screening of the film A Not So Silent Night tonight, Dec. 15, 2020. The ...


Gay News

HotHouse to stream Cuban jazz festival "Jazz Plaza" Jan. 21-24 2020-12-14
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Marguerite Horberg, executive director of the award-winning Chicago-based nonprofit arts presenter HotHouse, today announced that it has been awarded the exclusive rights to stream the 2021 legendary Cuban ...


Gay News

Indoor Voices series spotlights Duke It Out Nutcracker Dec. 18 2020-12-11
--From a press release - The Music Institute of Chicago's "Indoor Voices," a free series of virtual visits with arts luminaries featuring conversation and occasional performances, returns with a new episode spotlighting the Music Institute's ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Ravinia producer Stephen R. Smoot, 57 2020-12-11
--From a press release - Stephen R. Smoot, who produced hundreds of concerts for Ravinia Festival since 2005, died suddenly on Friday, Nov. 27. He was 57. Known for his quick wit and generous impulse to shine the spotlight on others, ...


Gay News

Kylie Minogue's 'Infinite Disco' to stream New Year's Eve 2020-12-09
- Singer Kylie Minogue announced that her performance event "Kylie: Infinite Disco" will be streaming New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. across respective time zones. The performance premiered last month following the release of Kylie's ...


Gay News

Cyndi Lauper's 'Home for the Holidays' event Dec. 11 2020-12-07
- Award-winning singer, icon and advocate Cyndi Lauper announced that her 10th annual Home for the Holidays benefit concert will premiere on Friday, Dec. 11, exclusively on her TikTok at 8 p.m. ET, with an additional stream ...


Gay News

Chicago Cabaret Professionals make a gift of their free gala concert 2020-11-30
--From a press release - For over twenty years the Chicago Cabaret Professionals' (CCP) annual Gala has been a festive live event. This association of over two hundred singers refuses to be deterred by the pandemic and will make a gift ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Singer Justin Utley, Gus Kenworthy, video game, 'Jackplot' film 2020-11-30
- OUTMusic Award winner Justin Utley has released the single "All Is Bright"—his first holiday release, a press release noted. Utley described the song as a little-bit of Lumineers/Mumford & Sons mixed in with a lot-a-bit of ...


Gay News

MUSIC (Colton) Ford tough: Singer is back and 'Stronger' than ever 2020-11-28
- Colton Ford has been an actor (in mainstream, off-Broadway and adult features) as well as singer, but he had see out of the spotlight for a few years—until now. Ford (who's openly gay) is back with ...


Gay News

'The Prom' out Dec. 11 on Netflix 2020-11-27
- The Prom—a musical-comedy film directed by Ryan Murphy and adapted by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin (from their and Matthew Sklar's 2018 Broadway musical of the same name)—will be out on Netflix on Dec. 11. The ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.