“A grandly conceived program of thoughtfully selected songs that brings a loving and passionate integrity to the whole of Eyes Wide Open.”
“Jazz vocals just do NOT get more inspiring … among the very best jazz vocals I’ve heard in a long time… simply stellar.”
“An amazing selection of songs… well written and perfectly performed… She finds the joy in those memories, and translates them into what could very well become jazz standards for a future generation.”
JAMIE SHEW is a vocalist, arranger, composer, pianist, educator, and producer. On her newest project, EYES WIDE OPEN, she uses song to tell the story of her 20-year relationship with her husband, bass player Roger Shew, and the loss she experienced when he succumbed to cancer. The music follows the arc of her life from the early days of their relationship through Roger’s illness and beyond.
EYES WIDE OPEN is a project imbued with love and loss but eschews mere sentimentality. Jamie doesn’t just perform moving interpretations of these songs, she opens her heart and exposes the genuine, raw feelings that have propelled her to make this CD. Her innate musicality is showcased in her phrasing and tone, but it’s how she reveals the depth of the human condition that sets this project apart.
Sample Tracks and Promotional Video
Jamie Shew vocals
Larry Koonse guitar
Joe Bagg piano & Hammond B3
Darek Oles bass
Jason Harnell drums
Produced and Arranged by Jamie Shew
Get Out of My Head and Eyes Wide Open composed by Jamie Shew
“Forgive me if I don’t have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you’ll understand.”
Whether on stage or in the classroom, these are words that Los Angeles jazz vocalist Jamie Shew seeks to achieve – to be able to project personal emotions and experiences through song.
Jamie grew up in the Tri-Cities, a group of towns located in south central Washington State. She began her musical training at the age of four, when she was first introduced to the piano. The desire to sing was very strong for Jamie throughout her childhood, however, she was always needed as an accompanist. It was during her senior year in high school that her choir director gave her the opportunity to sing a Karen Carpenter solo. This was a pivotal moment – she was hooked.
Jamie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Washington State University and a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance/Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University. As a graduate assistant at WMU, she had the opportunity to study privately with one of her favorite jazz vocalists, Sunny Wilkinson, and perform and record with the renowned vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company.
In her newest critically acclaimed CD project, Eyes Wide Open, Jamie uses song to tell the story of her 20-year relationship with her husband, bass player Roger Shew, and the loss she experienced when he succumbed to cancer. The music follows the arc of her life from the early days of their relationship through Roger's illness and beyond. Jamie's extensive musical training informs her singing. Her timbre is warm and inviting, while her timing, phrasing, and ability to interact so well with the band reflects her years of study. Of course, it doesn't hurt that she's playing with some of the finest musicians in Southern California including guitarist Larry Koonse, pianist and Hammond B3 player Joe Bagg, bass player Darek Oles, and drummer Jason Harnell, who are all leaders in their own right. Jamie chose songs she had considered recording in the past, but now they took on new meanings for her. She wrote two original compositions and selected and arranged the rest with a lot of deliberation. Each song became a metaphor for her journey. Eyes Wide Open is a project imbued with love and loss but eschews mere sentimentality. Jamie doesn't just perform moving interpretations of these songs, she opens her heart and exposes the genuine, raw feelings that have propelled her to make this CD. Her innate musicality is showcased in her phrasing and tone, but it's how she reveals the depth of the human condition that sets this project apart.
As a jazz vocalist, Jamie continues to enjoy a rich performance schedule throughout the United States and internationally. She surrounds herself with some of the most world-renowned jazz musicians such as Larry Koonse, Darek Oles, Royce Campbell, Chuck Manning, Bruce Babad, Jeremy Siskind, Kendall Kay, Mike Scott, Matt Politano, Danny Janklow, Dave Robaire, Will Brahm, Joe Bagg, Jason Harnell, Dan Schnelle, and Josh Nelson.
In addition to a dynamic performance career, Jamie is also Coordinator of Vocal Jazz Studies at Fullerton College in Fullerton, California, where she teaches private jazz voice lessons, two levels of Vocal Jazz Styling and Improvisation courses, Music Theory, History of Rock and Roll, directs two groups in the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble program, is the advisor for the Berklee Global Partner articulation, and is the vocalist for the Faculty Jazz Cadre high school educational outreach program. She has also served as the past Vocal Jazz Chair of the Southern California Vocal Association, has directed the California All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and continues to be an in-demand adjudicator, clinician, and guest artist for jazz festivals around the globe.