At Hotel Sorella Thursday night
Even with Houston's limited jazz scene, It's a Lovely Day for singer DianeLandry
New Orleans jazz is hard to find in Houston, but local musician Diane Landry will sing the blues until the end of September with guitarist Brennan Nace as part of a Thursday night series at the Hotel Sorella, where the two will perform in the hotel’s Bistro Bar.
Though jazz is hardly as popular as other genres in Houston, Landry discussed the city’s jazz scene with CultureMap and what it’s like to be a local musician in the fourth largest city in the U.S.
CultureMap: First, what can guests expect at your performance?
Diane Landry: I typically perform with a trio: a rhythm section, piano and drums, but this venue is a bit more intimate so I’m playing with guitarist Brennan Nace. It’s a two-hour set in the middle of cocktail hour (6-8 p.m.) and it’s in a very cool space. We do some tunes off of my new album,It’s A Lovely Day, like "Blue Moon," which is one of my favorites, as well as the title song "It’s A Lovely Day."
CM: Who is Diane Landry?
DL: I’m billed as a jazz singer but I sing it all. I don’t limit myself to just jazz, but years ago when I started singing with a jazz pianist, I got labeled as that. I prefer to label myself, rather, as just a singer because I like to sing everything. All of the guys I work with can play everything too, from rhythm and blues, to Hank Williams, rock and of course, jazz. We are extremely versatile. That’s how we like to think of ourselves, as versatile musicians.
CM: How is it being a jazz musician in Houston?
DL: In Houston, there is a niche for every genre, but the [live music scene] in Houston is different than in other cities. Houston does, however, have a rich music community in every genre. Houston musicians are a tight family, but a lot of us cross over to different genres.
The jazz scene in particular is very limited here because a lot of people don’t get jazz. It is probably the smallest niche audience in Houston. Partly because jazz is not properly being passed down to the younger generations. There are not many live venues here to support the small genre, as well.
CM: What’s next for you as a musician?
DL: I’m working on a duet project with Ezra Charles, and his rhythm and blues horn band. We’ve been in rehearses for months and are going to have our first performance at the Mucky Duck on Oct. 4. I also have another CD in the works that I’m just beginning to work on; writing some tunes and getting ready for that.