The women of jazz were celebrated last week, on Nov. 11 to Nov. 13, at the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the festival, where this year’s headliners included Ledisi, Nnenna Freelon, Cyrille Aimee, Lea DeLaria and many others. With an entire lineup as eclectic and impressive as the genre itself, the jazz world was well-represented with talent like DeLaria taking the stage. Popularly known for portraying Big Boo on Orange is the New Black, DeLaria is a long time Jazz performer who took the time to chat with LA Weekly music editor Brett Callwood about the event.
“I used to sing with my dad who was a jazz pianist, in nightclubs back in the ‘60s,” DeLaria says. “He noticed right away that I was very interested in music and he also saw that I wanted to sing. He taught me how to read music, and he taught me about bebop, swing and all the different styles. He taught me the language, essentially, but the one thing he always said was, ‘Don’t sing like a chick singer.’ He used to say that to me all the time. Sing with gusto, sing with guts. Be musical. I always took that to heart. I always felt like that was, he really gave me the spine that I needed to pursue what I needed to pursue.”
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