Laura Baron is a local musician who will be performing and releasing her second cd on May 8 at The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St. Many different artists have influenced her music. She creates music that resonates with her audience, be it through inspiration or a little laugh.
<b> How did you get your start in music?
</b>My songwriting, vocal style, performance skills have evolved over many years. From recording music for children to singing with a swing big band, from composing contemporary folk songs to writing original jazz tunes my musical development is a journey. Through experimenting with different styles I begin to find my voice, my sound. And it continues to unfold as I challenge myself to keep learning and growing. I love the edge of jazz, the honesty of contemporary folk. the earthiness of the blues. The most important thing to me is that no matter what style of music I write and perform, I allow it to come through my heart and soul. My goal is for my music to sooth, inspire, awaken my audience, to resonate with something inside them, a common language we all share, and demonstrate the language of love, of hope, of loss, of kindness to one another. If I can inspire someone, if I can fill a moment when they are not distracted by the Internet with a spark of inspiration (and maybe a chuckle or two) then I have done my job.
<b> Biggest musical influences:
</b>I love Brazilian artists, Rosa Passos, Bebel Gliberto, Alex Cuba, jazz artists like Cassandra Wilson, Diana Crawl, Patti Austin. The swing of Dave Brubeck, the horn playing of Coltrane, Stan Getz. Composers such as Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean), the lyrcis of Mary Chapin Carpenter, John Mayer and the provocative Amy Winehouse.
<b> Describe your sound:
</b>My new CD is called "Scenes From the Avenue." The CD was produced by Bobby Read, who toured with Bruce Hornsby. It features eleven of my original tunes and two jazz standards; the ballad "Skylark" and the samba "No More Blues." I recorded the CD in the Charlottesville area with many outstanding musicians. Instrumentation included guitar, piano, sax, flute, flugel horn and even surprise appearances by the dobro and accordion. One of my songs "Winter Don't Own Me," a bossa nova won a Gold Award in the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. Two other tunes were finalists. It was an honor perform this winter at the awards gala at Jammin' Java. Although most of the tunes on the CD lean in the jazz direction one of my favorite songs "North Star" is a bit more folky. I set "North Star" in Maine in the 1800s. It tells the story of a woman waiting for her husband to return from a whaling expedition, sitting by the harbor in a storm. I wanted to capture the longing and hope that many people feel now waiting for loved one to come from Iraq, yet I set it in another time.
My first CD, "Stay With Me" was released with Azalea City Recordings a label here in the DC area. Scenes From The Avenue will be a self release.
<b> Anything special about the upcoming show?
</b>My CD release concert will take place at the Athenaeum in Alexandria on May 8 at 7 p.m. I will perform as a quartet. Two of the artists; jazz/blues guitar master Sol Creech and bassist and co-writer Pat Quinn were featured on the CD will join me as well as well known percussionist Ron Goad.
<b> Where is your favorite place to play, either publicly or personally?
</b> My favorite shows are when the audience and the musicians become one. The bass walks, the conga is the heartbeat, the guitar strings vibrate like our soul and our voices rise up as we ride the music together.