Q&A with jazz songstress Ellen Doty

Jon Roe, Swerve Magazine

Ellen Doty has spun her music into gold. The jazz songstress spent nearly a month at the Banff Centre creating Gold, an album of all-new tracks. “The scenery is so perfect and the atmosphere is so great,” she says. “It’s a really good space to leave everything behind.” She sat down with Swerve Going Out Editor Jon Roe to talk about singing for Carlton and being a fan of the Calgary Flames.

You play weekly at the Oak Room at the Fairmont Palliser. I hear you performed for Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day, Kill Bill) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) at the Oak Room during the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. I did. Vivica actually bought one of my CDs, which is really cool.

What is your etiquette when you happen to recognize someone in the audience and you want an autograph? I appreciate that they’re there to have dinner and relax after working all day. I have never asked anyone for their autograph or anything else. I chat with them like they’re normal people and I think they really appreciate that.

How would you describe the mood of your new record? It’s light, relaxing, easy-listening. It’s jazzy, but I also wanted it to be accessible to a bigger audience and not just for purely jazz enthusiasts.

So you were incorporating more pop elements then? Yeah, absolutely. Jazz pop is what I like to call it. I think people are a little scared by the word jazz sometimes. Maybe they went to a jazz club sometime and saw some avant-garde jazz, which I like as well, but it’s not for everyone. Some people are put off by the (jazz) title. I like to make it a little more friendly.

I see you retweeted a story about Calgary Flames radio play-by-play announcer Peter Maher retiring. Are you a Flames fan? Yeah, we just played at the Flames boxholders gala a couple weeks ago. We had just spent a good deal of time with the marketing people and met some wonderful people there. I’ve always been a fan of hockey. My brother played growing up. I’ve always been a Flames fan.

Do you have any favourite moments spent listening to him on the radio? I played a lot of sports in high school, so a lot of the time we were driving back from tournaments or we were going to a tournament to watch my brother play hockey. We’d spend the long car ride listening to the radio. Those are fond memories for me.

Gold album release: Thursday, May 29 and Friday, May 30 at The Ironwood Stage & Grill, 1229 9th Ave. S.E. 7:30 p.m. $35 (includes album). gold.zoobis.com.

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