Jennifer Scott has several loves—wine tasting, reading, cycling—and one in particular that brings the Vancouver-based artist to Whitehorse for the first time: her love for Latin music.
Scott is vocalist/pianist for the international jazz group, Crossing Borders.
“Crossing borders refers to not just the fact that two of us are Canadian and two of us are American, but we cross borders musically as well,” says Scott over the phone.
“We get our influences and our repertoire from more sources than just standard ja
zz: for instance, Brazilian music, obviously, and pop music.”
Historically, music has been a family affair for Scott.
“I always sang in jazz choir,” she says, “and my Dad always appreciated Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.”
Now Scott shares music with her husband, René Worst, the internationally known and respected bassist who produces many of his wife’s projects and happens to be her favourite bass player.
“We’re married in life, but we’re also married in music,” Scott says. “It’s very convenient, too,” she adds with a laugh before the punch line: “You don’t have to get an extra hotel room for the bass player.”
Crossing Borders, its self-titled CD, is the seventh for Scott and was released in January. It was one of her favourite projects. “That,” she says, “and my CD, Emotional Girl.” Scott has been nicknamed “Storm Warning” and says she’s not afraid of being emotionally committed.
Scott has shared the stage with jazz-legend Clark Terry, “one of the first musical experiences I had … the first jazz musician I ever listened to, so getting to actually sing with him on stage was really unbelievable.”
Speaking about her inspiration, she says, “There’s really not one person.
“I think I probably have the most reverence for Louis Armstrong. I love Ella … but, if I had to pick my greatest inspiration in music and not just jazz, I would say it would be Joni Mitchell.”
But, she adds, “I think the most precious memory I will have as I look back is to have shared the stage with so many local [Canadian] musicians.”
Scott plans to go a little farther afield, performing in places like Europe and playing with musicians from other areas.
And, she adds, “A dream for me would be to wake up and just be able to start writing.”
Like cream, Scott’s artistic raison d’être, surfaces in this one thought: “The one thing that is the most meaningful to me is that somebody takes something that I’ve sung … a lyric, a melody … that it makes somebody happy.
“It’s not just about me being on stage; it’s about the energy exchanged. There would be no ‘me’ if there were no audience.”
Crossing Borders will play on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. For a preview, check out the group’s site at www.crossingborderstour.com.