Live at the 2013 Vancouver Jazz Festival Mainstage
Canadian jazz songstress. Sophisticated and Eclectic.
CBC Rising Star Winner
Jaclyn's first experience as a performer was at the age of 2 when she jumped up on stage during the intermission of her big sister's dance recital. She began her career quickly after that moment when her mother, a local dressmaker for the dance school, enrolled her in voice, dance and music lessons. She has never looked back.
Vancouver born and raised Jaclyn Guillou (pronounced Ghee-you) is an emerging Canadian jazz vocalist who performs music that is diverse, eclectic, emotional and carefree. Her independently produced debut studio album, To The City, boasts original jazz music with infectious vocal talent that exhibits a polished and playful new sound.
In 2009 Jaclyn was honoured to be the recipient of a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from her very first performance at a jazz festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and has been setting good stride since then. She has toured through Europe, Canada and the United States in some of the most recognized jazz clubs, festivals and cities with shows at Yoshi's San Francisco, Birdland Jazz Club in New York, Rataplan in Belgium, L'Inoui in Luxembourg, Ivories in Portland, Jazz Station in Eugene, Yardbird Suite in Edmonton, BeatNiq in Calgary, Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, Victoria International Jazz Festival, Medicine Hat Jazz Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Jazz Festival and The Rex Jazz Club in Toronto.
Jaclyn's music has led her on various tours and performances in cities worldwide that include Moscow, Puerto Vallarta, Antwerp, Luxembourg, Portland, Montreal, New York and Toronto. She has the pleasure of studying with some of the world's best jazz singers which include American vocal legends Nancy King, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton and Vancouver's very own Jennifer Scott. Jaclyn started her career at the age of 10 performing in musicals as a triple threat performer, being equally talented as a dancer, singer and actress. She had a successful professional career of 15 years performing musicals worldwide, and her former training as an award winning tap dancer and classically trained opera singer gave her the undeniable skills and stage presence that she brings to her current music career.
To The City, her debut album, is a colourful album full of texture and rich melody, highlighting Guillou's compositional prowess. The album features eight original songs that include special guest Juno-nominated Verve recording artist Denzal Sinclaire, vibraphonist Tom Beckham from Brooklyn and pianist Randy Porter from Portland. Interesting and unusual, undeniably bold and full of life, To The City has a cosmopolitan approach with shades of Guillou's life story taking full swing across the entire album. Surely capable of wooing all sorts of music lovers of jazz, pop, soul and folk. Recorded to tape with vintage gear and microphones, To The City blends the perfect mixture of old meets new. Guillou is supported beautifully with an impressive cast of musicians from across North America.
As a vocalist, composer and bandleader, Guillou brings a unique style of songwriting to the jazz idiom. She unites jazz form and structure with deep sensible lyrics. While rooted in the tradition she incorporates personal stories and jazz harmony to create a unique modern sound. Guillou yields a creative vocal flexibility and has become well known for her strong sense of rhythmic phrasing, colourful tone and distinct articulation. A dynamic and versatile performer, who occasionally if compelled, can perform in over 6 different languages, Guillou brings a wide selection of original tunes and jazz standards to her diverse repertoire. Her compositional skills showcase interesting and unusual arrangements with eclectic influences ranging from the queen of the blues Dinah Washington, the passionate Diane Reeves, Canadian folk hero Joni Mitchell and Brazilian legend Elis Regina.
In the summer of 2013 Jaclyn starred in a tribute concert to Dinah Washington which was recorded live at CBC Studios and then aired on the CBC radio show Hot Air and the CBC television series called Absolutely Vancouver. She is presently working on new music inspired by John Hollenbeck, Norma Winstone, and Theo Bleckmann. She is currently putting forth creative energy working on a collection of compositions that will be produced into an album by one of Canada's extraordinary talents, Brad Turner.
This young twenty-something artist strives to merge the sound of deep jazz roots and hip modern themes which as a result provides something new and interesting for music lovers of all sorts. Her voice is raw and emotional and it lingers long after the last note.
"Guillou puts a slightly more organic contemporary jazz spin on music steeped in tradition and thus makes old school become new cool, the sign of a true artist."- Critical Jazz
"An album that is so rich with dimension you need a pair of 3D glasses to listen to it." - !Earshot Magazine
"BC has produced another rising star, someone perhaps to follow in the footsteps of international jazz artist Diana Krall in the years to come."- Review Vancouver
"Guillou's originals have the brassy, mellow glow of jazz standards as if they were plucked straight out of the vault and given a gently modern spin."- Slocan Valley Current