Maia Santell

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About Maia Santell


A descendant of Seattle's Jackson Street era of jazz and swing,
vocalist and bandleader Maia Santell has been performing on the Northwest music scene for twenty-five years, at night clubs, casinos, festivals and
special events. Known as the "Pacific Northwest Queen of Swing",
Maia's phrasing and style exude the spirit of the vocalists of the
40's; her voice is warm, clear and natural, totally free of the contrived
theatricality that besets many of her contemporaries. She gives a
classic performance of great songs associated with names
ranging from Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James
and Diana Krall to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ray Charles or Patsy
Cline. Her knowledge of the inner workings of a melody and her
superb vocal control allow her to deliver a diverse combination of
great songs with richness and intensity. She delivers with apparent
ease a wide range of selections with a natural, positive presence
and dynamic vocal quality. Maia's father played saxophone and
clarinet in the Gaylord Jones Orchestra, her mother, Lola Sugia
sang with the Norm Hoagie Orchestra, Curt Sykes Big Band,
Wyatt Howard Orchestra, Jackie Souders Band, to name a few.
Maia's uncle, Frank Sugia, was a well know jazz accordionist, band-
leader, pianist and club owner in the Northwest music scene, and
Maia's stepfather, John R. Forrest (Johnny) was a Seattle KOL radio
broadcaster, Seattle Hydroplane Races announcer, playwright for
CBS Suspense Theater, songwriter/composer of radio jingles and a
hit record called "Blue Tears", sung by Lola Sugia, in the early 60's.
You can catch Maia's band, "Maia Santell and House Blend" at
various clubs and dance events, including productions like "Dancing
with the Tacoma Stars" and shows at Jazzbones, Studio 6 Ballroom, Johnny's Dock and Seattle's China Harbor. The band performs a
danceable mix of jazz, blues, Latin, swing and contemporary
favorites. See Maia's web site and photo gallery at:

Maia Santell joined the JazzTimes community on Oct 20, 2009