Jesse Garland Delivers Classic Standards (with a Twist)
This dynamic singer has a strong voice that soars.
Jesse Garland’s repertoire, which is rooted in jazz and blues, pays homage to the classic standards while bringing in sounds from today, constantly pushes her music to the very edge.
Jesse, who hails from McAllen, Texas, located in the Rio Grande Valley, close to Mexico, appreciated small town living and the mantra of a simple life, but decided to follow her life long dream to see the world and explore the great unknown.
Her personal journey brought her to Florida State University where she studied theater and media production. She then headed to Washington, DC, where she worked in video production while at night dove head long into a singing career.
Her start in music in the Nation’s Capital actually came from her love of swing dancing, which led to her singing with a few bands, eventually landing with the awesome Greg Jenkins Jazz Quartet.
Jesse stayed in Washington, DC for about five years, developed a following, and even got to perform at the Bohemian Caverns, one of DC’s most legendary jazz haunts where Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway performed back in the day.
Young, in love and restless after 9/11, Garland decided it was time to try something different, so she moved to Colorado in 2003. It was in Denver that she found her love for life, people and most important passion for her music.
In moving to Denver, she sought to find the jazz scene, but ended up in cover bands and blues bands. She recorded an album with the Catfish Kray Blues Band, which was a contender for a Grammy.
But she struggled to find her true voice and was dealt some personal loss that changed the course of her life.
She left her corporate job at Vail Resorts and started consulting, with her newly found flexible hours allowing her more time for her music. She worked on her first EP. It didn’t pan out in the end, but she learned a lot about the music business and met her future husband. (They’ve been together for a decade and married for over a year now!)
Currently living in Lyons, a small town near Boulder, Jesse now has a day gig, in technology building cutting edge technology in software and product development. This has allowed her “to start focusing more on quality versus quantity and get to a GREAT place with her music.”
Over the years, Jesse has entertained audiences with her soulful rendition of Summertime and PS I Love You and conquered the challenging vocal acrobatics of Joy Spring.
A Jesse Garland Project event can be filled with songs of all of the great performers, such as Judy Garland, a distant relative, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Adele and even Nine Inch Nails.
But she continues to explore the world of music with release of de mi corazón (From the Heart), a Spanish language EP. It results from visits to Cuba to dance and learn about Latin music, trips that forever changed her life.
“I danced, brushed up on my Spanish and formed lasting bonds with people I met on these trips,” she said. “I spent time with Rodney Barreto, a renowned Cuban drummer. His heart is gold and a friendship was born. When he visited us in Colorado in January 2020, I decided it was time to record a true Latin EP.”
(The previous year Jesse tested the waters at Denver’s Clock Tower Cabaret, performing 15 tunes, mostly in Spanish. “I think I only did two songs in English. Talk about a crash course in learning Spanish, but what a joy!”)
After doing Havana Nights in 2019, and with Rodney Barreto coming for a visit, “I decided to seize the opportunity.”
De mi corazón sticks with the classic standards. It provides her interpretation of well know songs like Besame Mucho (Kiss Me a Lot), perhaps the most popular Spanish language song ever.
"Bésame Mucho is not so much an enduring standard as a global phenomenon. Translated into dozens of languages and performed by hundreds of artists, the song has been an emblem of Latin identity, an anthem of lovers separated,” according to the New York Times.
Kiss me now,
kiss me with passion
kiss me as if this were to be
our very last night.
The EP also includes Sway, made famous by Dean Martin and Michael Bublé.
When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more
It also provides Jesse Garland’s treatment of Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps), a favorite from Doris Day.
Every time I ask you
That when, how and where
You always reply me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
And the EP includes Vivir mi Vida (Live my Life) from Marc Anthony, which pretty much summarizes Jesse’s lust for life.
I'm gonna laugh, I'm gonna dance
[I'm gonna] live my life, la, la, la, la
I'm gonna laugh, I'm gonna enjoy
live my life, la, la, la, la
We invite you to check out de mi corazón or even better, catch a Jesse Garland show where you can find the dynamic performer singing somewhere over the rainbow.