Playing Jazz Standards with the Incomparable Elena Welch
Ya know, it’s not all angel wings and wispy clouds here in my harp life.
I also love to take the harp into musical adventures where there often aren’t harps. Jazz is just such a place, and I can’t think of a more wonderful singer to play with than the incomparable jazz vocalist, Elena Welch (featured in the red top).
If first met Elena years ago, when we were both living in Hilo. A favorite bass player had passed away, and the whole community turned out for a big jam – or “kanikapila” as it’s know in Hawaiian. I heard Elena bust the roof off with her big, beautiful, saucy standards, and fell in love with her vocal stylings.
Elena, like me, had to leave the island for a while. I moved to California, and she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she continues to sing regularly with her backing bands. We stayed in touch in the modern way – via Facebook.
And this week,Â Elena’s visiting home in Hilo again, for the 5th Hilo Jazz Festival last weekend. She hosted a little jam at Le Magic Pan (excellent gluten-free crepes, by the way).
My partner and flutist, Kathy Dorn (pictured looking ultra-cool in sunglasses), and I turned out, and played, “Summertime,” and an original blues tune I wrote, “Hilo Desert Blues.”
We had to say good-bye, as Elena travels back to Portland. But we are eagerly awaiting her return to make more music!
You can hear more of Elena’s music here…>Â https://www.allmusic.com/artist/elena-welch-mn0000969142/songs