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Michelle Van Handel - Watercolor Music

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Michelle Van Handel
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While most of my career has been as a jazz vocalist, singing the songs of the master songwriters, I found I loved the creative outlet of writing my own songs. My compositions include both contemporary instrumental and vocal tunes. Since voice is my primary instrument, I sing on the instrumental tunes, too. Humming along with the melody or creating harmony - a vocalise. You can hear this type of vocalizing from artists like George Benson, Tom Grant and the Pat Metheny Group. My C.D., Watercolor Music is a sound-scape of songs for acoustic piano, flute and voice. For added texture and groove a few of the pieces were highlighted with a touch of guitar or light percussion. Steve Prazak's flute sylings are both ethereal and effervescent. Each piece is part of a musical garden, to be enjoyed as a backdrop or with focus. Although this music is instrumental in nature the voice can be heard throughout weaving a tapestry or shading with timbre. There are a variety of styles and tempos, using elements of jazz, classical and contemporary styles. The two lyrical tunes, Watercolor Fantasy and Dreamland, are light acoustic pop. All the songs are inspired from family, are and nature. I have been singing, playing piano and composing since I was about 10 years old. I used to sit at the piano with my mother and jam on church songs. She would play the chord parts and I would improvise. I grew up listening to all kinds of music- everything from classical, jazz, pop to Swiss Yodeling! But jazz rhythms and harmony caught my attention. I began learning the standard jazz repertoire when I was in high school and started singing in clubs a few years later. I had terrific mentors who gave me invaluable experience. I went on to spend a few years directing the University of Oregon vocal jazz ensembles and won the Oregon Jazz Society's scholarship for Outstanding New Jazz Vocalist. I've had the pleasure of working with some of the Northwest's finest musicians including the late Leroy Vinegar; pianist, Andre Kitaev; composer/guitarist, Mason Williams - (Classical Gas). Please listen to Watercolor music. I hope you'll find it relaxing - it's great with a cup of tea or the newspaper. Each song has it's own personality and story to tell. Michelle.

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1) Jean
2) Coffee Time
3) Morning Snow
4) Marquis of Carabas
5) Day Is Beginning
6) Watercolor Fantasy
7) Iris
8) Seven Peaks
9) Song of December
10) Irish Autumn
11) Dreamland
12) Free

Watercolor Music
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Watercolor Music | Michelle Van Handel