Sweet. Sultry. Soulful. These three simple words encapsulate the essence of singer/songwriter Halie Loren and her music.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I wasn’t familiar with this prodigious young artist until very recently. But after listening to all of her songs on Apple Music and watching several of her videos on YouTube, I was both intrigued and excited to attend her performance and see what she is all about.
During the last 10 years, Halie has earned an international following among jazz aficionados and music enthusiasts. Fueled in part by her facility to sing in multiple languages, Halie’s popularity in Asia and Europe is particularly notable. Her music is best described as being a jazz–pop fusion. No matter whether she’s singing standards from the great American Songbook or her own compositions, however, her music is distinctly her own.
The Alaska native is an outstanding performer who has an amazing ability to connect with a crowd. From her first song to the last, Halie displayed her remarkable talent, her authenticity and vulnerability, and her sheer joy of performing on stage. And the crowd at Nighttown responded accordingly. While they might not have fully known what to expect this night, they were quickly won over. Strangers became fast friends and fans of this amazing artist.
Backed by a terrific trio that included Ariel Pocock (piano and backup vocals), Tim Lekan (bass) and Donnie Patterson (drums), Halie mesmerized the audience as she wove a rich tapestry of sound and emotion that moved every person in the room. On stage, Halie wears her heart on her sleeve, and the Nighttown audience soaked it all up like sponges. It was magical!
During her 20-song set, Halie masterfully blended a compelling mix of jazz and pop standards with original songs from her newly released album, From The Wild Sky. Every standard, while familiar, was also unique. Halie infuses these songs with a freshness that makes the old seem new. In particular, her rendition of the Bobbie Gentry classic, “Ode To Billie Joe“, was, in this writer’s opinion at least, even better than the original. Halie is just that good!
Among her original songs, Halie’s performance of “Noah” bared her soul, as it was just she and the piano in the spotlight for this most personal and moving number. That singular moment in time stands apart as being unforgettable.
Halie Loren is a gifted and passionate talent who deserves a listen. Even for those who may not consider themselves fans of jazz, Halie’s music transcends genres and will undoubtedly make a deep and lasting connection with the listener. And if you have the good fortune to catch her live on tour, soak up every second of the experience like a sponge! She really is that good!!!
Rising Vocal Star and her group make Cleveland debut live at Nighttown! CD Release Event!!
Authenticity and connection have been essential roots of the artistic growth of Halie Loren. Whether injecting the American Songbook with old-school soul or finding a familiar thread of nostalgia in newly-penned originals, the Alaskan-born, award-winning singer/songwriter continues to find new ways to bridge cultures and musical genres.
Halie Loren is truly an international artist. Like her multi-lingual recordings that transcend cultural borders, her art transcends musical genres via a common thread that weaves a rich tapestry. That tapestry connects her original works with pop-smart jazz, flowing into blues, soul and contemporary compositions that are universal, yet deeply personal.
“For the past few years, I have felt more and more drawn to the idea of putting my songwriter self out there in a much bigger way, as a 100% personal form of expression,” explains Loren. “When I write, it’s all about the story and the feelings behind it, but never about the particular style in which it takes shape.”
The result is art in an eclectic form, with soulful compositions reflecting wounded defiance, stubborn love, and hard-earned hopefulness. Her voice connects to the soul of her songwriting, reminding us that there is always beauty to be found, even in the most painful experiences. That powerful personal connection is the driving force behind From the Wild Sky, Halie’s latest and most ambitious album to date. Set for release in April 2018, the album, produced by Troy Miller, features 10 original compositions, as well as a stunning rendition of Roberto Livi’s ‘A Mi Manera’.
“The songs on the album speak to some very meaningful, transformational moments in my life, some of which were inspired from experiencing new discoveries, love and deep loss,” Halie says. “It feels like the most risk-taking and honest art that I’ve ever created, reflecting my spirit and my personal story in a very revealing way.”
The participation of producer Troy Miller (Jamie Cullum, Gregory Porter, Amy Winehouse) was a dream come true for Halie.
“Halie’s songs are some of the most pleasing and melodically beautiful I’ve heard,” says Miller. “So much thought and love has gone into crafting them, and I know that any listener will be left nourished in a very profound way.”
From the Wild Sky promises to weave Halie Loren’s faithful fans into her evolving tapestry, while crossing musical boundaries to forge bonds with diverse audiences worldwide as she has throughout her illustrious career. Her jazz/pop debut in 2008, They Oughta Write a Song, earned Halie an award for ‘best vocal jazz album’ in the JPF Music Awards (2009’s largest independent music awards in the world, with over 42,000 album entries from 160 countries). Her songs have placed at the top in competitions including Billboard World Song Contest, John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and myriad others.
Halie’s powerful connection with her fans has grown through relentless touring in the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe. Her music has also dazzled prestigious concert halls, including performances with the Jazz Orchestra of Sicily, the Britt Festival Orchestra in Oregon and the Monroe Symphony in Louisiana