Updated: Jan 11
Jennifer Porter is an award-winning musician, actor and screenwriter. Jennifer, who is a musician’s musician, has sung with Classical and Jazz Orchestras, including the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, and smaller combos including her own quintet. She is also an accomplished Blues pianist, and has played with C.J. Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Nathan and The Zydeco Cha-Chas, and Ils Sont Partis. Her musical repertoire spans from Jazz and Blues to Country and Opera. She has recorded 7 albums to date. Her last album, “These Years,” was recorded with producer Jay Newland. "The Years" won the 2020 W.A.M. Awards for Best Album in the Blues/Roots category. Her song "Road To Redemption", from These Years, charted at #1 on National Indie Radio, the Independent Music Network Country Charts, New Music Weekly’s Country Charts and National Radio Hits Country Charts. "Road To Redemption" also reached the top 3 on The Independent Music Network’s Mainstream charts, and National Radio Hits and New Music Weekly’s Adult Contemporary, and Top 40 charts. She was also nominated for 5 Independent Music Network awards and won Female Crossover Artist of the year. Her album Easy Living (2014),, was nominated for a 2015 Independent Music Award in the Jazz With Vocals category, and was heard on jazz stations around the United States, including KJAZZ in Los Angeles, WWOZ in New Orleans, and Public Radio International’s Jazz After Hours. Jennifer is currently working on an exciting new album with legendary producer, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. Jennifer is also an accomplished actor and film composer.
For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough..then tell us more!!
I would describe my music as Roots based, with a strong jazz influence, and a slight flavor of my early classical training every now and then.
When you are writing a song, where do you draw inspiration from? Or what topics do you like to sing about?
I sing, primarily, about love, I suppose. Love for another person, for the world around us, and for oneself. Both the joy and pain of love. I often feel like I don’t know where the inspiration comes from. Melodies, and snatches of lyrics seem to just form on their own, particularly when I’m doing something else, which is why I have a small digital recorder near me most of the time!
Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?
I also make my living as an actor (both on stage and screen), and as a screenwriter, so that takes quite a bit of my time. For just fun, I love gardening. I absolutely adore flowers! I also do martial arts. I have a second-degree black belt in Tai Jujitsu, and advanced training in Jeet Kun Do, and Kali. Another thing I like to do is learn Spanish. I belong to a cool online group called Spanglish, that lets native English and Spanish speakers practice each other’s languages together. I’m about to start dusting off my German, which has gotten very rusty! After touring in The Netherlands last year, I became interested in learning Dutch as well.
Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?
It is a song that is on my upcoming album called BITTER N.Y. NIGHT. It speaks my internal dialogue during one of the most difficult, yet beautiful and surreal nights I’ve ever experienced in my life. A freezing cold night, during a blizzard in NYC when I had never felt so alone and at the same time so connected to another human being. It is actually rather difficult for me to sing the song without crying as the memories of that night are so crystallized for me, but the song itself isn’t particularly sad. It’s grateful. I’m so incredibly excited to share it when the new album comes out in 2021!
What was the first song or piece you ever wrote!?
It was a song for my piano teacher called “Peggy’s Song” (Not a particularly original title, I know!) that I wrote when I was 9. She had me perform it during her student’s piano recital, and it made me so proud to see my name listed with the other composers, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, it was quite a rush.
Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?
I have a very exciting new album, recorded with the legendary Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, that is nearing completion! It is called SUN COME AND SHINE, and I am particularly proud, from a songwriting perspective, of my writing on this album. I have had the great pleasure of working on this new project not only with Bernard as co-producer and drummer, but with Steve Jankowsky, George Naha, Rob Paparozzi, and Miho Nobuzane among other talented musicians. I’m so impatient for the album to be finished, but working during the pandemic has been prudently measured!
Tell us where fans can access your music.
Connect on Facebook.
Stream on Spotify.