BIOGRAPHY

Award-winning vocalist Janis Mann  is described by critic Andrew Gilbert as "brilliant," and by critic Don Heckman as “one of the Southland’s finest jazz vocal artists.” Her warm alto voice imbues each choice song she sings with cool but concentrated emotion.

At once both a striking song stylist and a fearless improviser, Janis Mann is that rare artist who can sweep you away with her captivating sound. She is a true jazz singer in the manner of Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, and Shirley Horn, yet with a sound all her own. An exciting and engaging performer, Mann's rich timbre, flexibility, and range often invites comparison to Sarah Vaughan.

 

In addition to working with the great pianist Kenny Werner on two outstanding recording projects, Janis has performed with Diane Schuur, Roy Haynes, Terrell Stafford, Dave Frishberg, Jack Sheldon, John Clayton,  the Caribbean Jazz Project, Roberta Gambarini, and a host of other jazz luminaries.

 

Janis is a Los Angeles favorite and performs often in New York, notably at the Blue Note, Dizzy's, and the Kitano.  The popular Jazz Muse Concert Series features her in concert with other jazz masters including Laurence Hobgood, Kenny Werner, Ernie Watts, Alan Pasqua, Peter Erskine, Roy McCurdy and many others. Her latest CD, “Dreams of Flying” with pianist Kenny Werner was a Downbeat Editor's Pick and WRTI Philly DJ Bob Craig's pick for Album of the Year. She has released eight successful jazz albums, songs from which have become a staple of radio and streaming services.

 

JazzTimes writer Christopher Loudon says, “Mann is not only one of the most skilled vocalists around, but one of the most alluring as well."
 

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Janis grew up on Long Island, drawing inspiration from her mom, a gifted singer, who would play for her the music of the great jazz singers like Sarah, Nat, and Ella. She studied classical piano and later, indulging her growing passion for folk music, learned the guitar. In her late teens, Janis packed up her guitar and headed for Europe. She supported herself in her travels by playing and singing in the cafes of Paris and Amsterdam and busking in the London Underground. After returning to New York, she fronted a popular R&B band, and then made a move to Los Angeles.
 

After a number of years living in Venice and playing in venues throughout L.A., Janis moved to Seattle where she became a renowned vocalist winning numerous fans. She was awarded Northwest Jazz Vocalist of the Year honors in the Earshot Jazz poll of fans, musicians, and critics. She recorded her third CD, "So Many Stars - A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan," live at Seattle's world famous Jazz Alley. After more than a decade there she returned to Los Angeles.