Laurie Antonioli is a jazz singer who has garnered a reputation as a true original as well as an innovative collaborator in the sophisticated world of eclectic jazz. With four albums currently in release, she is now soliciting funding through an Indiegogo campaign for her newest project, “Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: The Music of Joni Mitchell.”
The campaign launched on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 and is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, December 1, 2013. Antonioli is requesting $38,000 in order to cover immediate expenses for recording, mixing, and mastering, with a stretch goal of an additional $19,000 to cover promotion and distribution expenses. Donors can contribute from $10 on up, with “perks,” or rewards for donations, ranging from digital downloads and copies of the new album to rare Joni Mitchell memorabilia. Large-scale donors will receive invitations to special concerts and can even attend the recording sessions at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California.
Although not a household name, Antonioli has indisputably established herself as one of the important jazz singers of her generation. The vocalist that Bobby McFerrin refers to as “truly one of my favorite singers” has decades of experience performing and/or recording with noted jazz artists including Richie Beirach, George Cables, Joe Henderson, and Cedar Walton, as well as McFerrin. With a distinctive style that incorporates elements from other musical traditions as well as jazz—folk, rock, pop, country, and world music—Antonioli’s new album represents a natural extension of her creative body of work, but with strong crossover appeal for contemporary music fans.
Although much of the set list includes familiar Joni Mitchell tunes such as “River” and “Both Sides Now,” the band is also creating an arrangement for a relatively unknown song, “Eastern Rain,” which Mitchell performed but never recorded.
Antonioli and her band have been performing their Joni Mitchell arrangements at all the major jazz venues in the Bay Area, to overwhelming response. “We’re seeing new faces in the audience—people who want to hear Joni’s music,” explains Antonioli. “We’re doing something that people understand and want to hear, not just music for the niche market we’ve inhabited for most of our careers. This is music for everyone. We knew we were on to something and that we had to get into the studio and record so that we could share this music with everyone.”
Antonioli’s band is made up of first-call musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area: Matt Clark (piano), John Shifflet (bass), Jason Lewis (drums), Sheldon Brown (reeds), and Dave MacNab (guitar). Guest artists for the recording include Grammy-nominated vocalist Theo Bleckmann and multi-reed instrumentalist Paul McCandless, a three-time Grammy Award winner who plays oboe, bass clarinet, English horn and soprano saxophone and who is best known for his work in the pioneering jazz group “Oregon.”
“Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light” will be recorded in mid-December, with a planned release date of spring 2014. For more information, visit igg.me/at/SongsofShadowSongsofLight or lauriantonioli.com.