Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interview with... Juliet Dunn

I don't think I've ever interview a jazz musician before, and I don't think I've ever had as much fun with an interview.

Juliet Dunn has been entertaining people with Jazz for years and certainly has some interesting things to say.

I hope you enjoy my interview with... Juliet Dunn

1. What is the appeal of Jazz?

Ever since childhood I've been drawn to the 20's, 30's + 40's. From music,
to film, to fashion, to lifestyle. I've always felt a connection there.
And of course jazz came into it's own during these era's. I love the
melodies, the voices, the harmonics, the instruments, the lyrics and the
freedom with the solos. And the messages are great. (I'm not a fan of a
lot of the more recent music which often has extremely rude lyrics and bad
messages for the younger generation that listen to them.)

2. Please tell us how you began your career as a Jazz musician.

I was a late bloomer and really started to listen to jazz at the age of 18
when a girlfriend gave me a cassette tape with Billie Holiday on it. I just
LOVED it and could also sing along with it. (My voice is lower so until
then I hadn't really identified with any of the pop singers.) Then in my
20's I was working as a back up singer with a French funk / rock band. The
lead singer introduced me to his singer teacher (Jean Salamero) and I
started to train with him. He was an older gentleman with a career in jazz.
(Same time period as Maurice Chevalier.) With Jean I 'dove' into the jazz
standards. Sarah Vaughan, Billie, Ella and more.

3. Which jazz instrument is your favourite to perform with?

I do love being accompanied by a piano and most of the time that is the
case. However I also enjoy singing jazz with a jazz guitarist. It's
definitely a different vibe and lovely for the latin tunes.

4. What is it like being part of Le Trio Parisien?
I love the French music and lyrics and as I trained as a singer in France
there is a real connection there. I think it comes across more when I sing
in French than when I sing in English. With Le Trio Parisien it reminds me
of my days in Paris which will always be fond in my mind. And there's
nothing like the sound of an accordion to make you feel like you're in a
brasserie in the heart of Paris! I've wanted to put together my French band
for a while now so I'm glad that it has finally all come together.

5. What advise would you have for people interested in Jazz?

If they're interested in playing or singing jazz I'd advise them to follow
their hearts and to remember that it's never too late. (I've only been
singing jazz professionally for 7 years now and I'm 42!)
If they're just fans of jazz my advice would be to keep discovering it.
There is SO much to discover. Both old and new! :)

6. What's coming up next?

Currently I am running a jazz series here where I live in Canada. It is
called the 'Twilight Jazz Series' and we are in our 6th month. (You can see
details on our website at:
Our goal is to bring more live jazz to our region and to help local jazz
musicians have more gigs. I started this series with my husband Peter Shea
and we perform at our own series occasionally with some of our own bands.
My job is lining up the bands and booking them as well as marketing the
series and I am really enjoying that.
And I have also landed my own radio show on Canada's premiere jazz station.
Jazz FM91 ( My show airs every Saturday and Sunday from 6am -
9am our time, and overseas people can tune in via the ipad app or online.
My show is called 'Sunrise' and I am learning SO much about the world of

7. Is there a charity or event you would like to bring to my readers'

I do many charity events out here in Niagara and do volunteer concerts
regularly for the Niagara hospice. I also just performed for the Niagara
Women's Awards and International Women's Day. However I do not have any
other major charity events coming up in the immediate future.

Thank you so much Juliet.

I hope you all enjoyed this interview. Please feel free to leave some comments below.
Until next time!