Naomi LaViolette & Michele Van Kleef
- Old Church |
- Thursday, February 16, 2012
- 7 p.m. |
- Free |
- All ages welcome
About Naomi LaViolette & Michele Van Kleef
Naomi LaViolette, songwriter, pianist, and vocalist, has found an acoustic niche between the worlds of folk singer-songwriters and jazz soulstresses. Her music takes two parts Sarah MacLachlan, one part Joni Mitchell, and adds a dash of Madeleine Peyroux's understated elegance for a concoction that is extremely palatable, sweet, and soulful. LaViolette's debut album, self-titled Naomi LaViolette (2011), features 10 original songs, as well her own arrangements of George Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now".
As a songwriter, LaViolette composes from an authentic outpouring of life experiences. She writes songs about falling in love and staying in love. One song is a lullaby. She writes about heartbreak, life's tough questions, and finding answers in surprising places. As one born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, her songs often contain inspiration from the natural world, reflecting a sort of wild, uncontained beauty. "In artistic expression," says LaViolette, "we find places to stand in a world that is constantly changing. We discover what is most important in our lives, and understand our trials and joys at a deeper level."
LaViolette's music strikes a distinctive balance between soul-filled honesty and a variety of musical styles. Her roots are deep in classical music, with a master's degree in classical piano performance. She's immersed herself in jazz standards, folk songs, soul, pop and gospel music. All these influences weave in and throughout LaViolette's songs, creating a musical vibe that is both vintage and current.
LaViolette has performed in a diversity of venues, from jazz clubs to farmer's markets and esteemed concert series. She often collaborates with guest artists at her shows, sharing the stage with both seasoned and emerging musicians. In each show her songs speak to the heart, and she wins audiences over with musicianship and vulnerability.
MICHELE VAN KLEEF
Michele just finished recording her second record with Lazy Bones Recordings. This is her debut solo record: After All, featuring Tony Levin (incredible bass player of Peter Gabriel) and Nate Query (incredible bass player of The Decemberists and former Calobo bandmate)! Her music is based in storytelling with memorable melodies and sung with haunting vocals.
Michele got her start in the music industry as singer in the very successful, NW-based Indie band Calobo. They toured the country for over 6 years and shared the stage with Sara McLachlan, the Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco and Jethro Tull. In Portland they played Portland Meadows, The Roseland Theater, La Luna and became regular sell-outs at The Crystal Ballroom. Across the country they played Wetlands in NYC, House of Blues in Chicago, the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, The Showbox and the Moore Theater in Seattle, and the epic music festival, Bumbershoot on the Stadium Stage in Seattle. When all was said and done, Calobo released 5 full-length records, the final being recorded Live at the Crystal Ballroom in our hometown of Portland, OR.
After Calobo, Michele joined Lazy Bones Recordings act Mackabella in Seattle. They released the self-titled album Mackabella and many of these songs were placed in the TV/Film industry. "Willing" has had the most placements: a movie trailer for the Johnny Cash story "Walk the Line", and spoof of the same film, "Walk Hard", among many others. Other Mackabella song placements include VH1, Fox, NBC, T-Mobile, 90210, Lifetime, MTV,South of Nowhere, and Roswell.
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