Deanna Matley will perform at the Concert in The Park series this week
Deanne Matley is not afraid to sing big.
The Calgary-based jazz singer will bring her big voice and eclectic musical tastes to this Thursday’s Concert in The Park event where she will belt out such hits as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Lullaby Of Birdland,” and “Wonderwall.”
“Sometimes I feel like I’m channeling my inner Frank Sinatra and then there’s a Bette Midler performance aspect of singing,” said the chanteuse with a chuckle.
Matley, who has been singing since she was a young girl, just released her fourth album, Can’t Help Falling, which she collaborated on with Los Angeles-based jazz guitarist Larry Koonse.
“My last album is a straight-up jazz standards album with me and a guitar player. It’s all standards. It’s all jazz except for the tune, ‘Can’t Help Falling (in Love With You)’,” she said.
While Matley’s latest effort is what one would expect from a jazz artist, her other albums, Stealin’ Blue and Chillin’ and Fillin,’ were all ballads and re-arrangements of mostly pop tunes, respectively, while her third, Get Into the Mood, was a holiday album.
“It’s one of those things where we do Leonard Cohen to Oasis to Cold Play. So it’s kind of like, Who do I sound like? How can I describe it? That’s one of my most challenging questions … There are some distinct voices out there that people are channeling and for me I’m not really sure,” she said.
“It’s really about being exposed to a lot of genres.”
While the jazz singer might not know to whom she can compare her musical stylings to, well-known American jazz trumpeter Marvin Stamm, who’s played with Benny Goodman, Quincy Jones, and Paul McCartney, said the Calgarian has a “beautiful instrument,” a sentiment backed by Canadian pianist Tommy Banks, according to the artist’s webpage.
If she had to chose a song that best represented herself, Matley would choose What a Wonderful World.
“It’s a very positive, uplifting, motivational song. Take everything away, the reality is that we do live in a beautiful world and I think a lot of times in life things happen for a reason,” she said.
Matley’s singing career began when she entered the Banff Centre to study jazz and was further enhanced during a summer at Berklee College of Music in Boston and private lessons in NewYork City. She also received the 2013 Richard Cowie Memorial Scholarship award, which enabled her to attend the Stanford Jazz Institute in California.
“Sometimes as an artist you get wrapped up in all the technical stuff, which is heavy stuff, and just trusting myself and instincts and intuition and feeling that I know what I’m doing and letting go of the fear of letting go…. (It’s also about) pulling ideas of a bunch of different people and adding to who I am as an artist,” said Matley, who also has a degree in business from Mount Royal University.
While most of her music is re-arrangements of well-known tunes, she has written a couple of original songs that she might sing during her concert on Thursday.
“I’ve never really gravitated towards songwriting…. Being a performer, from my experience, people like to hear songs that they know too,” she said. “The people of Portage will probably know a lot of the songs that I’m going to sing and we’ll get them to sing along.”
As for the future of her career, Matley is considering working on Broadway doing musical theatre.
“It’s on my bucket list to audition for professional theater shows, but I’m also scared and have that fear of (auditioning). It’s deep down inside something that I really miss, but at the same time I’ve started thinking of doing a one-woman show and taking it on the Fringe circuit…. (It) kind of gives me exciting thoughts for the future for that realm.”
Matley hopes to bring her stage act to audiences in 2016. She has performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and The Sound of Music.
Matley will perform at the Ukrainian Stage at Island Park at 7 p.m. following Quite Likely at 6 p.m. She will sell her CDs at the concert and will sign copies of her albums and meet fans after the show.