Nicole Edwards: Singing in Sustenance

“I’ve loved singing since I was a little girl.”

“I remember singing on the back of my mother’s bike, on the swing set, everywhere. I’d always be asking her to teach me more songs.”

Nicole Edwards learned a lot of the old standard songs from her Mom and she is singing those songs again. They are jazz songs. She recorded a few of them on her CD, Sparkin’ and will be jazzing again in January at Jazz on the Wing.

“It’s a real honour to play Jazz on the Wing,” says Edwards. They only book one local act, each year, and this year it is the Nicole Edwards Quintet.

She is hesitant to claim the spotlight, however. “It’s not just about me; it’s about all of us. They are all such great players, wonderful to be around.”

“It is a treat to play with Tom Connors on vibraphone, and Jon Heaton is such a solid bass player. And Lonnie Powell [on drums], give him a bit of room, some space and he can just blow everyone away.”

It seems Edwards has good words to say about each member of the quintet, but especially about Annie Avery, “Annie is a real mentor for me.”

The group plans to earn the honour of playing Jazz on the Wing. “We are taking the opportunity to learn some new, more-challenging material.” They are using the gig to deepen the music.

When asked about her vision of the future, Edwards plans to keep singing jazz. “It’s just so fun.”

But that’s not all. She has recently been collaborating with Dave Haddock, co-writing songs. “We have an album’s worth of songs already, but we are still writing.” Their goal is to release the album about a year from now. It will be shifting back to a more danceable rhythm and blues genre.

“The thing for me is, music gives me energy. If there’s a day when I really feel rotten, I just trust that the music will sustain me through it, and it does.

“Music is truly healing and sustaining for me.”

The Nicole Edwards Quintet will be featured at Jazz on the Wing on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets are available at the YAC Box Office, Arts Underground and at

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