Jazz Weekend soloist: Gayle Bisesi

News | July 1, 2015

Gayle Bisesi first set her sights on music at the young age of 3 – when her stage was her living room couch and her microphone a vacuum cleaner hose.

“My earliest memories of music were in my home and at church, growing up in Decatur, Illinois. My mom would sing and play music all the time. If you were talking to her and said lyrics to a song she liked, she would start singing before you could finish your sentence. Music just flowed from her!”

Gayle will be the featured soloist at Jazz Weekend, July 25-26, at St. Paul.

Throughout her childhood, Gayle was exposed to singing many kinds of music, including classical, musical theater, pop, and folk. Then, her passion for jazz was uncovered.

“I remember auditioning for the MacArthur Jazz Band and something inside me just sat up and a strong connection was made. This music was so powerful and exciting to me,” she said.

She earned her degree in vocal performance and music education from Elmhurst College in 1996.

“To me, singing jazz is a soulful release – an opportunity to unveil, expose, and bare my true self. Am I vulnerable? Yes, but what’s music without revealing your heart?”

She has been singing professionally for over 20 years and has had the honor of sharing the stage with such musical greats as: Patti Austin, New York Voices, Howard Levy, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Denis DiBlasio,Mark Whitfield, Conte Candoli, Hank Marr, Frank Mantooth, and Kevin Mahogany, among others.

She also has performed internationally. Gayle now resides in the Chicago area while pursuing her musical career full time. She performs regularly, and is a voice teacher, clinician, and mentor.

“As a music educator, I teach people how to deepen the musical passion within themselves through self-exploration – emotionally, physically and spiritually – the holistic approach to singing.”

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