Jazz / LíricaNEW YORK, New York
Born and raised in New York City vocalist Audrey Silver has been impressing audiences in her home town as a warm and sensitive stylist. A four-month engagement at the Mansfield Hotel's M Bar readied her for last year's five-month run at Club Macanudo on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Silver has likewise become a familiar face at The Cutting Room, Chez Suzette, Shelly’s, Cleopatra's Needle, and the Anyway Café. The steady stream of appearances is a testament to her instantaneous appeal and unique approach to the American songbook. Delicious articulation and velveteen delivery lends "Up Jumped Spring" and "This Can't Be Love" the charms of a cozy romance—with an added touch of mischief. Silver's ballads are understated and intelligent. Although she considers Joe Williams, Anita O'Day, Bill Evans, and Ben Webster among her major influences, Silver has also received inspiration from artists as diverse as pop diva Annie Lennox and Brazilian jazz guitarist/composer Djavan. She has learned the basics of Yoruban chanting, delved into the atonal work of classical composer Arnold Schoenberg while a chorister, and played chamber music while growing up, experiences that have all expanded her hearing and informed her approach to leading a jazz ensemble. Silver's current band is an assembly of stellar musicians: the talented pianist Jon Raney, son of jazz guitar legend Jimmy Raney and a student of Kenny Barron; bassist Tom Hubbard, a veteran of the bands of Joe Williams and Freddy Cole, guitarist Ed MacEachen, who toured extensively with Chico Hamilton and Ernestine Anderson; and drummer Ronnie Zito, whose rhythmic skills drove the bands of Woody Herman and Bobby Darin. She studied classical piano and cello from an early age during her childhood, but also had an early love of jazz and popular song. "While other girls were hanging posters of David Cassidy in their rooms," Silver confesses, "I was busy swooning over Fred Astaire." She took up tap dancing and spent countless hours immersed in her dad's record collection; it was filled with Broadway musicals like The Pajama Game and Guys and Dolls. They provided an introduction to many jazz standards and ignited her passion for the form. During college, Silver founded The Higher Keys, Brown University's first co-ed jazz a cappella group; she transcribed favorites by the Mills Brothers and tried her hand at arranging. She still takes charge of the settings for her tunes. Her interest in music led to employment in the marketing and A&R departments of CBS Masterworks (now SONY Classical) and then as the Director of Marketing for Chesky Records. She earned an MBA at Columbia Business School and also worked as an account executive for advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather before being drawn back to jazz. In 1998, Silver began studying with vocal priestess Sheila Jordan. It was then that she first encountered Raney, who encouraged her to pursue a career as a singer. He worked with her on a demo in 2000; the project included Zito and Jay Leonhart, a renowned bassist and chosen accompanist for Judy Garland and Tony Bennett. In addition, she has studied privately with Mark Murphy, winner of the Downbeat Readers Poll for Male Jazz Singer of the Year since 1996. Most recently, Audrey recorded a new demo with songs that range from well-known chestnuts like "Embraceable You" to those destined to become songbook standards—Bob Dorough's mournful "Small Day Tomorrow" being a prime example. She continues to expand her horizons and hone her gifts as a singer, bandleader, and arranger. They have already earned her considerable praise and attention.