Album:I Want To Be Happy
There are plenty of jazz musicians who prefer to be in the background and make a very good career as sidemen. But you don't see that much with jazz singers who are usually hired as featured performers. Aussie Jo Lawry prefers a role as a sideman. But after touring with Sting and appearing in the 2013 Oscar winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, she may not be able to remain in the background for much longer. Jo grew up on an almond orchard in south Australia. And after beginning her musical education at Adelaide University, she moved to the US to study at the New England Conservatory. She joined percussionist James Shipp's band Nos Novo and the two have lived together ever since. Jo recorded I Want To Be Happy in 2008 with Shipp on percussion and vibes, Keith Ganz on guitar, Matt Clohesy on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums. Loro was written by Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti and he first recorded it on his 1983 album Works. At the same time, Jo became lead singer of The Fred Hersch Pocket Orchestra and appeared on his 2009 album Live At Jazz Standard. She also recorded with organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. When Jo auditioned for Sting, it was between her and Canadian singer Laila Biali. Jo got the gig and Sting fans heard her on the 2010 CD Symphonicities and she toured with Sting and appeared on the TV special Live In Berlin. Jo continues to tour and record with Sting and has also appeared with Paul Simon. And she is featured in the 2013 Oscar winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom about anonymous backup singers. Jo sings Lean On Me with Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill. It looks like it's getting harder and harder for Jo Lawry to remain anonymous. It's time for a new album. Here's a video for Loro by Jo Lawry.