Janice Borla has made it her artistic mission to use her voice as a true jazz instrument - and that resolve is evident in all aspects of her music. Her recordings and performances have earned her consistently high praise for her beautiful sound, superb technique, adventurous repertoire and imaginative vocal improvisations. Often cited for her adventurous, risk-taking approach, Janice continually challenges herself, keeping vocal improvisation front-and-center in her performances. "I've always been drawn to jazz as an instrumental, improvisational art form," she says. "I'm really a 'vocal instrumentalist' - a musician whose instrument is my voice." Her repertoire is an eclectic mix, favoring instrumental jazz tunes by modern and contemporary jazz composers, many without lyrics. With each successive recording Janice continues to drill deeper into the musical approach that has distinguished her from so many of her contemporaries - and to reap wide critical praise. Both her current release Promises to Burn (2014)and her prior CD From Every Angle (2007) received "4 stars" in DownBeat Magazine and one of its "Best Albums of the Year." Her previous recording Agents of Change (2003)was named "The #1 Jazz CD of the Year" by WBEZ-FM Chicago Public Radio and praised by Jazz Times as "Genius. Pure genius." Her penchant for singing instrumentally-conceived material led her naturally to her emergence as an accomplished lyricist. "I want to create a text that 'informs' the music, focusing on its emotional content, and expresses how I feel when I sing it." This year a "Question/Answer" session will follow each concert to give audiences an opportunity to engage directly with the featured artists. This series is co-presented by Flashpoint Creative Arts, a nonprofit organization founded by vocalist Janice Borla and drummer Jack Mouse, promoting improvisation as an invaluable life skill and presenting innovative artistic and educational experiences meant to draw people into the improvisatory process.
Venue: Madden Theatre
Pricing: $22, $17
Friday, September 14, 2018 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm