Jaclyn Guillou – Bio

Guillou puts a slightly more organic contemporary jazz spin on music steeped in tradition and thus makes old school become new cool, the sign of a true artist.”               ~ Critical Jazz

“An album that is so rich with dimension you need a pair of 3D glasses to listen to it.”  ~!Earshot Magazine

“BC has produced another rising star, someone perhaps to follow in the footsteps of international jazz artist Diana Krall in the years to come.”~ Review Vancouver


Jaclyn’s first experience as a performer was at the age of 2 when she jumped up on stage during the intermisson of her sister’s dance recital. She began her career quickly after that moment when her mother, a local dressmaker for the dance school, enrolled her in voice, dance and music lessons and she has never looked back.

Vancouver born and raised Jaclyn Guillou (pronounced Ghee-you) is an emerging Canadian jazz vocalist who performs music that is diverse, eclectic and carefree. Her newly released, independently produced debut studio album, To The City, boasts original jazz music with infectious vocal talent that exhibits a polished and playful new sound.

In 2009 Jaclyn was honoured to be the recipient of a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and has been setting good stride since then. She has toured throughout Canada and the United States in some of the most recognized jazz clubs and festivals with sold out shows at the Beat Niq Jazz Club, Yardbird Suite, Cellar Jazz Club, The Rex Jazz Club, Hermann’s Jazz Club, Vernon Jazz Club, Uptown Kitchener-Waterloo Jazz Festival and the 25th Anniversary 2010 Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Jaclyn’s music has led her on various tours and she has performed in cities worldwide that include Moscow, Puerto Vallarta, Portland and Toronto. She has had the pleasure of studying with some of the world’s best jazz singers which include American vocal luminaries Nancy King, Sheila Jordan and Vancouver’s very own Jennifer Scott.

To The City, her debut album is a colourful album full of texture and rich melody, highlighting Guillou’s compositional prowess. The album features eight original songs performed that includes special guest artist and Juno-nominated Verve recording artist Denzal Sinclaire, New York vibraphonist Tom Beckham and Portland based pianist Randy Porter. Interesting, unusual, undeniably bold and full of life, To The City has a cosmopolitan approach with shades of Guillou’s life story taking full swing across the entire album. Surely capable of wooing all sorts of music lovers of jazz, pop, soul and folk. Recorded to tape with vintage gear and microphones, To The City blends the perfect mixture of old meets new. Guillou is supported beautifully with an impressive cast of musicians from across North America.

As a vocalist, composer and bandleader, Guillou brings a unique style of songwriting to the jazz idiom. She unites jazz form and structure with deep sensible lyrics that incorporate texture and complex harmony. Guillou yields a creative vocal flexibility and has become well known for her strong sense of rhythmic phrasing, colourful tone and distinct articulation. A dynamic and versatile performer singing in 4 different languages, Guillou brings a wide selection of original tunes and jazz standards to her diverse repertoire. Her compositional skills showcase interesting and unusual arrangements with eclectic influences ranging from the queen of the blues Dinah Washington, the passionate Diane Reeves, Canadian folk hero Joni Mitchell and Brazilian legend Elis Regina.

This young twenty-something artist strives to merge the sound of deep jazz roots and hip modern themes which as a result provides something new and interesting for music lovers of all sorts. Her voice is raw and emotional and it lingers long after the last note.


The Band

Randy Porter

Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. Lynn Darroch of The Oregonian states,

“Porter has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility. . .”

Randy Porter has performed with many jazz greats, including Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, and Benny Golson. He has also performed with the Charles McPherson Quartet throughout the US and in France, Italy, Greece, and China. The Charles McPherson Quartet has re-created the music from the classic recording Charlie Parker with Strings, performing with many orchestras nationwide. Currently, Porter tours with Diane Schuur and Bobby Caldwell, conducting the Jazz Orchestra for their “Sing in Swing” tour.

Randy Porter has toured Europe many times with bassist David Friesen and has performed on several recordings with Friesen. Friesen’s 2001 Trio CD, Name of a Woman, received 4 stars from Downbeat in June of 2002 and featured Porter as pianist and composer. Porter has also recorded, performed, and toured worldwide with singer Gino Vannelli; Porter’s pianistic contributions can be heard on Vannelli’s CD’s, Yonder Tree, Slow Love and Canto.

Musical highlights include performing at Kimball’s with Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan, the Blue Note in NYC with Diane Schuur, Seattle’s Jazz Alley with New York Voices, Yoshi’s in San Francisco with Karrin Allyson and Rebecca Kilgore, The House of Blues in Chicago and BB King’s Blues Club in NYC with Gino Vannelli, the Monterey Jazz Festival with Madeline Eastman, the Chicago and Detroit Jazz Festivals with Charles McPherson.

Porter’s compositions and arrangements can be heard on his own recordings: Thirsty Soul, with John Wiitala on bass and Reinhardt Melz and Todd Strait on drums, Brio, also featuring John Wiitala and Reinhardt Melz, Modern Reflections with Nancy King on vocals, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Mel Brown on drums, and Eight Little Feet with Bob Magnusson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums. Samples of Porter’s writing and playing can be found on Apple’s iLife jingles. Porter also composed the music for the 2009 documentary, Deep Green.

Porter has been a performer and educator at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival for many years where he has played with Bud Shank, Maria Schneider, Ingrid Jensen, and Terrell Stafford and where he has coached many young jazz musicians. He has also worked several years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and Jazz Camp West with singer Madeline Eastman. Porter teaches master classes and adjudicates student combos and bands at highschool and college jazz festivals. Currently, Porter teaches jazz piano at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Tom Beckham

Beckham graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of music in 1990 where he studied with Gary Burton, Ed Saindon, Hal Crook, and others. Beckham resides in Brooklyn, NY where he is an active performer and teacher. As a band leader and composer Beckham has released three CD’s to date: “Suspicions”(Fresh Sound New Talent, 1999) “Center Songs”(Apria, 2006), and the latest, “Rebound” (Apria, 2008). Rhapsody.com hit the nail on the head when they wrote

“Beckham’s approach is reminiscent of older band leaders like Paul Motian and Chico Hamilton, but Beckham’s work has a sound all its own—which is what jazz is really about.”

As an active sideman for 20 years, Beckham has played in bands led by Ron Horton, Michael Musillami, Leonardo Cioglia, Sam Bardfeld, J. Walter Hawkes, the NYC composers’ group PULSE, Joe Phillips’ Numinous Ensemble, Jody Redhage’s Fire In July, and over the years, appeared in a host of musical settings with musicians such as bassists Matt Penman, Reid Anderson, Gary Wang, Dave Ambrosio, Ben Allison, Matt Pavolka, pianists Ben Waltzer, Henry Hey, Aaron Goldberg, Bryn Roberts, drummers Jochen Ruckert, Dan Weiss, Mark Ferber, Ferenc Nemeth, guitarists Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Shepik, Tom Guarna, Will Bernard, saxophonists Donny McCaslin, Michael Blake, Bill McHenry, Seamus Blake, Jerome Sabbagh, Tom Christenson, John Ellis, trumpet players Ingrid Jensen, and Russ Johnson, and many others.

Beckham has performed at the JVC New York, Zurich, Rochester, and Braga jazz festivals, IAJE and Jazz Improv New York festivals; halls such as Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Hammerstein Ballroom, and top NYC area clubs such as Smalls, Fat Cat, Birdland, Cornelia Street Cafe, Barbes, Joe’s Pub and many more.

Joe Poole

Canadian drummer Joe Poole is one of the country’s most fascinating young drummers. A protege of Oscar Peterson and many other top Canadian musicians, Joe has developed a great sense of musicality, groove, and rythmic fluidity. His unique style is deeply rooted in the tradition with ability to experiment freely in modern grooves and time signatures.

Poole is building an international reputation and is a regular member of the Jaclyn Guillou Quintet, Rich Underhill Group, Tony Foster Group and multiple Juno-nominated artist Denzal Sinclaire. He has played with Taylor Eigsti, Dee Daniels, Leora Cashe, Ernestine Anderson, Marcus Belgrave, Curtis Fuller, Red Holloway, Houston Person, Lew Tabackin, Don Thompson, Guido Basso, Brad Turner, Phil Dwyer, Lorne Lofsky, Nick Brignola and Bob Mover.

His recent European work includes a season in Nice, France with Russian Sax player Dmitri Shapko of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and an Italy tour with The Di Gregorio Chiricosta Quintet featuring Italian saxophonist Gigi di Gregorio, trombonist Sergio Chiricosta and Canadian singer Leora Cashe.

Michael Rush

An accomplished double bassist and composer/arranger, Michael Rush has established himself as a versatile and in demand musician competent in Jazz, Blues, Salsa, Rock and Folk music. Having performed in Europe and across the United States and Canada, he has brought his expertise and skills to dozens of internationally acclaimed albums. He studied in New York with bassists Joe Martin (Jane Monheit) and Scott Colley (Herbie Hancock) as well as Drew Gress and Matt Brewer. Since then he has gone on to play with an impressive cast of musicians both locally and internationally. In recent months, he has performed or recorded with Dan Brubeck (the son of jazz musician Dave Brubeck), David Valdez, Mike Allen, Brad Turner, Jillian Lebeck Trio, Bruno Hubert Trio, and The Miles Black Trio, as well as with his own projects such as Michael Rush and the Four Hornsmen and Queso Blanco, which was nominated for a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award in 2009.