Sony Holland Plus Five
Sony Holland, vocals; Charles McNeal, tenor saxophone; Jeff Buenz, guitar;
Benny Watson, piano; Seward McCain, bass; David Rokeach, drums
Sunday, July 6 | 7:30 pm | Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $28 general | $14 students
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford
For more information, go to our Ticketing
“…a strong and versatile voice along
with a style that fits the standards she interprets perfectly.” – L.A.
Sony Holland is a singer who knows her way around the standards. With
a style that is once sophisticated and emotionally direct, her interpretations
of the great American songbook show a deep respect and love for the material
while adding an unmistakable spark of personality. Originally from northern
Minnesota, Sony fell in love with jazz while spending a year in Paris
and has earned a devoted following worldwide with her renditions of standards,
contemporary classics, and original songs. She has made the Bay Area
her home since 2003, although she now performs internationally, including
extensive concert tours and residencies in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.
Her most recent album, Swing, Bossas, Ballads & Blues is an intimate
set of 16 of Sony’s favorite songs from many different eras and
musical traditions, which she brings together with impeccable musicianship
and true feeling.
Sony Holland web site
Q&A with Sony Holland
What’s the strangest experience you’ve
ever had on the
That has got to be singing through a 6.7 earthquake at the New
York Bar in Tokyo. It is on the 52nd floor and at first I thought I
having a dizzy spell. The building is designed to sway and it was
really swinging! We all just kept on playing.
I also have been in some major winds at the Sirocco in Bangkok,
which is outdoors on 64th floor. Sometimes a gust would blow
away the musicians’ sheet music and we’d just have to get
the song the best we could.
What’s your favorite jazz venue?
I’ve played in some great clubs and exotic places, but I always
back to what my first bassist Charles Dungee used to say - “They
all just joint’s, whether it’s Carnegie Hall or Joe’s
Bar & Grill.” Some are
done up fancy, but it’s the music that always matters. That being
the thing that makes me happiest is a great sound engineer.
What job would you have if you weren’t
a jazz musician?
School teacher, preferably kindergarten.
What’s your favorite food?
I am a Midwestern kid and I used to have pretty bland tastes. When
I moved to Paris for a year I was exposed to more interesting foods.
There were French, Italian, Vietnamese and African markets in my
neighborhood (20th arrondissement) and I also got hooked on a little
sushi restaurant in Montmarte. Sushi is my favorite, but a good peanut
butter and jelly sandwich is still hard to beat.
How much do you practice each week?
I practice every day whenever possible. Sometimes a vocalist needs
a day or two off. But the toughest challenge for a musician today
is that there aren’t enough venues to perform 6 or 7 nights a
like in the glory days of jazz. Practicing at home is crucial but as
a vocalist I live to communicate to a live audience. Every venue is
different and it takes experience to handle all the variables and still
give a natural and compelling performance.
Who is your greatest musical influence?
My mother was the first of many. She is a trained coloratura and
also taught piano lessons when I was young. We always had music
playing in the house.