Frontier Jazz is a sound that Jacqui believes could have only been created in Texas. It’s not what she expected when she and her husband moved from New York (by way of Madison, Wisconsin) back in 2008, but much to her surprise and joy, the Houston-based musicians who make up the Frontier Jazz Orchestra turned out to be the perfect band-mates to help her interweave the predominantly jazz/bluegrass sound with the musical influences that she has been attracted to most of her life.
Jacqui draws on over 20 years of musical and stage experience to leave her personal stamp on her favorite songs. She got her start as a singer as a member of a vocal jazz ensemble called Jazzmouth—founded by Bay Area vocalist and composer Molly Holm in the early 1980s. At the time, heavyweights like Bobby McFerrin and Tuck & Patti were ascendant, and these, among many other Bay Area musicians, were her influences as she sought to master the jazz idiom. When she moved to Portland, Oregon 4 years later, she was exposed to bluegrass music while learning how to contra dance. The sound of the banjo, mandolin and fiddle would continually intermingle with jazz in her ears, and over the ensuing 20 years, this melding coalesced into the Frontier Jazz sound.
MiniDoc: What is Frontier Jazz?
A mini-documentary about me, jazz, contra-dancing to bluegrass, and the merry crew that helps create the Frontier Jazz sound.