The New York-based jazz singer Marianne Solivan has made a name for herself as a hard swinging, passionate vocalist whose commanding stage presence regularly captivates audiences with her joyous exuberance and striking vocal prowess. Having performed and recorded with the likes of Christian McBride, Peter Bernstein, Jeremy Pelt, Bruce Barth, Gregory Hutchinson, Jonathan Blake, Xavier Davis, Michael Kanan, Steve Wilson, Gene Bertoncini and Lewis Nash, Solivan’s records “Prisoner of Love” and “Spark” amply demonstrate how she continues to raise the bar for singers of her generation.
“The exquisiteness, expression, and sentiment of her singing are supreme. She is well beyond the go-through-the-motions singers of the genre by an enormous margin” (Jordan Richardson, Blinded by Sound).
With years of gigging multiple times a weekwhile in Boston during her studies at Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory, Solivan has had a unique opportunity to learn on the bandstand. These early years allowed her to hone her skills as a strong band leader and amass an enormous repertoire equal in breadth and depth which can appease any song aficionado .
Solivan’s skill at performing the American jazz songbook – while developing her own unique style – led her to study with a diversegroup of musician/educators that taught the tradition as well as more modern approaches to jazz. Their tutelage helped shaped a vocalist with deep roots in the vocal tradition yet without any of the “retro” feel. Solivan’s singing is a mixture of honest storytelling along with a modern sense of self and determination.
In 2007 Solivan made the move to New York and began to take advantage of all the musical offerings the city affords rising artists . Smoke Supper Club was her first consistent jazz club “hang,”a venue that led to many of her latercollaborations with Jeremy Pelt, Ugonna Okegwo, and others. Being a part of the NYC jazz scene has been the catalyst for musical collaborations with Peter Bernstein, Steve Wilson, and Lewis Nash. Her visibility and consistency on the bandstand opened doors for gigs at the famed Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, The Blue Note, and many others. Solivan has crafted these performances into becoming one of the first call singers on the scene.
In 2012 Solivan brought together her years of performance experience and musical collaboration to the studio and recorded a series of duos, trios, and quartet pieces that became her first CD, Prisoner of Love, on HiPNOTIC Records. The OTTOWA CITIZEN gets right to the heart of the beauty of the disc “On Prisoner of Love, vocalist Marianne Solivan surrounds herself with some A-list, hard-swinging company [and] sounds every bit in the same league as these seasoned accompanists. Solivan’s expression of classic jazz feeling and values is so room-filling and personal, you really can’t fault her disc one bit.” According to Solivan herself: “I chose to work with a number of musicians on the project to showcase the musical environments that I have been working in for the last 4 years in New York, mainly small group settings. Together we told stories of love; lost, stolen, broken, desperate, and lonely.”
Solivan’s new CD Spark is an ideal next step for this dynamic vocalist. Exhuberant energy, adventure, and swing are the focus of her sophomore CD. In addition to a repertoire of infrequently heard gems, Solivan has added four of her own compositions – which give witness to her arrival as a complete musician and standout artist.. Pianist Xavier Davis joins Marianne on this recording along with Matthew Parrish and Gregory Hutchinson, whom together create an authentic band sound that is rare to find on today’s scene. Most importantly Spark showcases a singer who has grown into a true storyteller, born of an holistic approach that is wrapped in exquisite style, standout phrasing, and unrelenting energy. Put simply, there is a fire in this voice that will burn brightly for a long time.
Currently you can find Marianne performing all over the U.S. and abroad, as well as teaching at City College of New York in the Jazz Vocal department and running her own Jazz Vocal Workshops throughout the year.