29 Aug Heather Schwartz
Heather Schwartz has become known for creating a unique concert experience, with a vintage charm and passionate vocals she truely connects with her audience. Inspired and influenced by Jazz, Blues, Gospel, R&B, Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop, Heather’s style is developed and versatile. Walking into one of Heather’s productions is like time-traveling into the 1920’s — She creates an old-school, speakeasy type of atmosphere in obscure, underground venues all across Ann Arbor and beyond.
Heather established her love for music from the very beginning; aside from her at home productions, Heather started performing in church, school, honor choirs, musicals, and bands as a young girl, and furthered her musical development during the summer at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp. It certainly helped that she came from a musical family; her mother was a singer, and she made sure that Heather knew the in’s and out’s of correct vocal technique from a young age. Even at that young age, however, she was beginning to show a penchant for Jazz and R&B. “I heard Dinah Washington on some old tapes I had in middle-school, and I fell madly in love with her voice and style” says Schwartz. Heather lists Washington, as well as Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Erykah Badu as her chief influences.
Heather has a performance career spanning over 20 years. She started formal classical training at the age of thirteen, and continued that study as a vocal performance major at the University of Michigan. During this time, she recorded a multi-grammy award winning album, singing composer William Bolcolm’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, under the baton of maestro Leonard Slatkin. But it was also during these college years that Heather really started to expand outside of the classical training that she had previously been so immersed in. Her affinity for Jazz, Blues, and R&B led her to create concepts for her own productions. Embracing strict independence in business and in music, Heather has created her own niche to offer to the world stage.
Heather is a rising star. It’s been her pleasure to share the stage with some of South Eastern Michigans finest musicians, including Rick Roe, Josef Deas, Ingrid Racine, Michael Malis, Jesse Kramer, Dan Bennet, Chuck Newsome, Rob Avsharian, Bill Higgins, Tom Stoepker, Jamie Register, Quentin Joseph, Brennan Andes, Alex Belhaj and Zach Saginaw. And she has built a loyal following in the process. Heather might be crooning of love, or shouting the blues, but one thing is always true: she conveys a deeper message and commands her audiences’ rapt attention.
“Music is already in people. I’m not bringing music to them; I’m just helping to bring it out of them.” She considers herself simply a humble servant of her musical gifts.
Now Schwartz seems to be hitting her stride. She sees herself as expanding even further, noting that “as a singer, I want to explore the diverse realms of music using my voice, and I don’t want to be typified as any one thing. I want to be Music.” With a bright future ahead of her and a rich legacy behind her, Heather Schwartz has plenty of music still to live.
You can find Heather at The Ravens Club, every Sunday night from 8 to 11pm. Just take a walk down Main Street and follow the soulful strains of some truly great jazz.