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A Grammy-nominated jazz singer with a sophisticated, cosmopolitan sensibility and an intimately warm voice, Stacey Kent will be making her Rockport debut on the heels of her new orchestral album I Know I Know.
For more than 20 years, Stacey Kent has been delighting jazz lovers with her inimitable graceful style, releasing over a dozen records and touring the world. The platinum-selling vocalist, who is known to interpret standards in French and Portuguese as well as in English, has amassed a loyal fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic.
Raised in New Jersey, Kent sang and played piano as a child but did not initially look to music as a career. After receiving comparative literature degree from Sarah Lawrence College, she found herself in London where she enrolled in a graduate music program at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and where she met her future husband and musical partner, Jim Tomlinson. Kent paid her dues in the jazz clubs of London, before releasing the first of a series of six albums, ‘Close Your Eyes’ (1997), for the Candid label. Her second album, The Tender Trap (1999) brought her to the attention of jazz audiences in the USA when CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered featured her. After that, albums and awards followed. Let Yourself Go, a celebration of Fred Astaire was released in 2000, Dreamsville (2001) led to Stacey being awarded the Jazz Vocalist of the Year in the ‘BBC Jazz Awards’. In Love Again, a collection of Richard Rodgers songs followed in 2002. The Boy Next Door (2003) was Stacey’s last Candid release and her first album to achieve Gold status.
During this period, Stacey cemented her reputation as a singer capable of putting a distinctive stamp on an impressive repertoire of standards. Her ability to communicate emotion through a nuanced and minimalist approach was showcased on Jim Tomlinson’s album, The Lyric (Token) which was awarded Album of The Year at the ‘2006 BBC Jazz Awards’. This album brought her to the attention of Blue Note records with whom she signed in 2007. With each successive album, Stacey’s style has become more honed as her artistic outlook has broadened. Her search for songs had led her to look beyond the Great American Songbook, with French chanson and Brazilian music forming an ever-larger part of her repertoire.
Kent has continued to pursue a frenetic recording and touring schedule. Her first album for Blue Note was followed in 2009 by the Gold-selling, all-French, Raconte-Moi. She was invited to perform an all-French program at the Francofolies Festival and was awarded the Chevalier Dans L’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres. Her first ever live album, Dreamer in Concert (EMI 2011), was followed by The Changing Lights (Warner 2013), which more than any other album, reveals the ever-present influence of Brazil in Stacey’s music. With Roberto Menescal, Stacey recorded Tenderly (Sony 2015), an intimate collection of standards that showcases her crystalline voice and Menescal’s warm guitar.