5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Award-winning jazz vocalist and founding member of Manhattan Transfer, renowned chef and author, Erin Dickins, has performed or recorded with many well-known artists. As a solo artist, Dickins captivates audiences with a stunning voice and upbeat humor. Dickins’ is noted style, literally adding a little sizzle to her swing often performing “Gourmet Concerts,” where she combines her toe-tapping tunes with mouthwatering morsales. Her new CD “Vignettes” is now available.
SD: You have a new album that was just released?
ED: Yes, “Vignettes.” I am very excited about it. It is my first self-produced album. It was definitely a new and exciting experience for me. I love it because this album is a clear expression of who I am as a person and a musician. The process was terrifying, challenging, and exciting. I loved it because this was the first time I didn’t have someone telling me what to do.
SD: What is your song selection process like?
ED: Some of the choices are songs that I wanted to do for a long time and the rest we kind of just chose randomly. I also knew that I wanted to work with some great musician on each of the songs. A few notables are David Friedman (vibes) on the Portuguese classic, O Grande Amor, Elliott Randall (Steely Dan guitarist) on Wonderful World, John Lissauer (Leonard Cohen Producer). Collaborating with these musicians was a wonderful and enriching experience.
SD: Why self-publish?
ED: I wanted more creative freedom, although, I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I also wanted to be able to really express myself and not have any limitations placed on me. Before starting this, I knew one thing was for sure – I better find some great musicians. For me, it was a tremendous project and a game changer. I loved the freedom of recording when I wanted to and not being tied down to a studio schedule. It was awesome!
SD: You co-founded Manhattan Transfer. Why did you stop being involved?
ED: There were two factors. I started to become in demand as a studio singer, which exposed me to a whole world of new opportunities. I was also feeling a little bored, but not with the material or the others in the group. I really wanted to spread my wings as an artist and I felt the only way to do that was to go out on my own. I am incredibly honored to have been a part of MT.
SD: What is it about the Jazz sound that gets you excited?
ED: I love all genres of music. I wouldn’t say that jazz is my only sound. It’s most definitely a musical fit for me. The most exciting thing about jazz is how wide open it is. I love seeing other artists embrace it and it never goes out of style.
For more information about Erin and to purchase her new album, visit www.erindickinsmusic.com