Julie Lavender: Doing It All and Loving It
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Producer, Broadcaster, and Impresario, Julie Lavender is a rare blend. She’s a heartfelt singer-songwriter, a classically trained guitarist and pianist who is naturally inclined to swing, and a studio pro who thrives on creativity and connecting with her audiences.
She’s also a Southern Californian transplanted to Northern New England, where she forms the center of a new jazz scene. In 2006, Lavender converted her family’s renovated barn on their historic New Hampshire farm into the venue for their DreamFarm Café events, intimate jazz salons that have attracted top performers from across New England and beyond.
Artists who perform at DreamFarm events showcase original music they feel passionate about, and also typically collaborate with Ms. Lavender on her tunes. The success of these soirees sparked demand for live radio broadcasts and, as a result, Lavender began producing a jazz program for WKXL radio in Concord, N.H.
After winning New Hampshire magazine’s “Best Of” award for her regional radio show in 2010, Julie decided to take the DreamFarm live experiences to listeners across the country. Launched in 2012, DreamFarm Radio is now a nationally syndicated radio experience featuring original “Synergy Jazz” music, and providing an intimate window into the very heart of an artist’s creative process. Heard on dozens of public radio stations across the nation, DreamFarm Radio is reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners each week and continues to grow. Julie regularly collaborates and performs with top musicians from across the East Coast and beyond.
Lavender’s latest project is a full-scale jazz cantata, Rising: A Modern Cantata for the World to Come. With its enchanting musical vistas, unexpected melodies and contagious grooves, this hip, new approach to the classical cantata form appeals to listeners with a wide range of sensibilities. Rising was arranged by internally known, Grammy-nominated jazz orchestra composer and saxophonist, Kim Richmond, who also performed on the recording. The multi-movement piece takes flight on the wings of Julie’s soaring vocals and innovative guitar voiceings, and celebrates the featured artistry of 4-time Grammy award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen along with numerous topflight Hollywood studio musicians and Boston area professionals.
In her groundbreaking CD release, The Siddur Project, Lavender set English texts of ancient Jewish prayers to fresh, jazz-influenced music creating a multi-layered recording for spirit and soul alike. The CD features the talents of some of the East Coast’s finest jazz musicians. Lavender also created paintings for the project that are visual reflections of the songs. Together art, music, poetry and prayer blend seamlessly to engage her audience on multiple levels.
Lavender’s earlier CDs, Good Woman and Never Felt The Sun, earned national airplay and critical acclaim. Tracks from Never Felt The Sun and Interior Design were selected for inclusion on “Jazz on Disc” CDs that accompany print copies of the popular Jazziz magazine.
As her field of creative endeavors continues to grow, Julie is currently working on new recording projects, performing live, collaborating with musicians and artists across New England and developing the national syndication network for DreamFarm Radio. As an artist she delights in finding inventive ways to integrate her paintings with her music.
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