Jazz , “hot or cool “ has been in Deborah Stafford’s blood from the start. A versatile performer, her songs range from classic jazz and swing to jazz standards, blues, big band swing, R&B and Motown. Her extensive repertoire includes Jazz Standards that range from Ain't Misbehavin' to All of Me to favorites such as Bye Bye Blackbird and I Can't Give You Anything But Love. Among her Motown and R&B Songlist are: Ain't No Sunshine, Let's Stay Together, Unchain My Heart, My Girl, and Dock of the Bay. Other popular classics she sings are: Beyond the Sea, Embraceable You, A Foggy Day, I've Got You Under My Skin, The Lady is a Tramp, My Funny Valentine, and The Lullaby of Birdland.
She studied vocal performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder and was trained in classical music, but says she was, “ inspired early in life by the music of Ella Fitzgerald and the Big Bands.” She recalls, “My dad had an album with Ella singing Midnight Sun and I was and mesmerized by it,” but because the Big Band Jazz era was over, she said, “I never thought I would get to sing this type of music." However, she discovered the opportunity to sing jazz with local groups, who were bringing back the sound of classic jazz. She got into that scene and in recent years has been featured as a jazz singer with several big band swing groups, such as the Joe Diamo Big Band and the Boulder Big Band.
Deborah has performed with a variety of musicians, including her own Jazz groups, and has sung in night clubs, and at parties, and weddings. She has also performed in musical theatre in Denver, toured the state with performing choirs, and even done stints with rock bands. Colorado Magazine Online caught her performance at the 2008 Longmont Jazz Festival, where she performed with the Rocky Mountain Jazz Project, a group that plays mainstream jazz from the 50’s and 60’s in the style of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Formed two years ago, the group under the direction of Doug Wardlow, has performed at various venues in the Denver North area.
Deborah also formed the Deborah Stafford Quartet, which has provided her with a chance to explore some “torchier” songs and “get into the Blues,” along with her regular repertoire. The quartet has played at Alto's Jazz Club at 15th and Larimer in Denver and has performed in the Chautauqua Community House concert series.
Critics agree that Deborah's voice blends perfectly with big band jazz - clear, smooth and easy, sultry on some songs, playful on others - a voice that is reminiscent of some of the great female jazz singers.
On stage, Deborah always delivers what her audiences what want to hear - a great jazz voice with a style and sound that make her performances memorable.
The Rocky Mountain Jazz Project
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