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Jan
13
McCoy Artists Presents ~ Janet Planet ~ "Voice of the New Jazz Culture"
By Larry McCoy

Janet Planet Showcase  "Mystro & Me", featuring pianist John Harmon ~ Video and Replay


"I love words. My interpretations are based not only on meaning but also on the way words feel as they fall out of my mouth. I'm fascinated by the vibrations of consonants and the nakedness of vowels… I revel in the power of the blues and the eternal pursuit of pocketing a groove."

- Janet Planet 

Described as a “sultry vocalist with a vast repertoire of jazz, blues, and standards with some Bob Dylan thrown in for good measure” by New York Magazine, jazz vocalist Janet Planet has been self-managed most of her 35-year career. She has toured the U.S., Canada, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Europe, assuring listeners that there is a soul in this “Planet.” 

A true entrepreneur, Janet owns Steel Moon Recording Studio and Stellar Records with her husband, Tom Washatka. With over 25 recordings in her discography, the award-winning singer won an Emmy for her work on “A Child Believes.”  Janet is an adjunct professor of jazz vocal technique at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and a vocal instructor at Tritone Jazz Camp at Bjorklunden Lodge, Baileys Harbor, WI.

Janet is a 6-time Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) award winner. In 2014, she was the second woman in 32 years inducted into the WAMI Hall of Fame. In 2017, the Grammy Foundation acknowledged Planet for her recording Just Like a Woman-The Music of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2.

Janet’s recent Bob Dylan Big Band Project culminated with two CDs, Janet Planet Sings the Bob Dylan Songbook, Vol. 1, and Just Like a Woman-The Music of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2 (big band). The big band arrangements were written by composer/arranger and Chair of Jazz Improvisational Music at Lawrence University, Conservatory of Music Fred Sturm, cellist/arranger Matt Turner, and award-winning saxophonist Tom Washatka.  Janet’s recent CD, Da Capo, recorded with longtime musical collaborator and pianist John Harmon, is her 23 CD recorded on Stellar Records.

In 2022-23, among her concert options, Planet will present her new tribute show about Nancy Wilson and the Bob Dylan Big Band Project residency/concert. 

Janet performs in a variety of formats that include duo, quartet, quintet, big band, and symphony programs.

 

Janet Planet Bio/Audio/Video Website Links

 Website

 Video: On a Wonderful Day Like Today, Janet w/ the Count Basie Big Band

Audio on Spotify: Janet Planet Sings the Bob Dylan Songbook, Vol. 1

TED Talk ~ Janet Planet ~ What Would You Do If I Asked You To Sing?

Audio ~ JP sings Sinatra Medley from Strings Attached, with the Rochester Minnesota Orchestra

Reviews

 I find Janet Planet consistently to be one of the most thoughtful and surprising singers I've heard. Her voice is a wonder. It's ever pleasing to the ear in its lovely quality and her control is magnificent . . . The elastic quality of her vocals is a major asset in her arsenal and her pitch is superb.”

- Rob Lester, Talking Broadway, Sound Advice

 

"If there is another singer who exudes such unpretentious playfulness and joy with music and lyrics, I'm not sure who it might be."

- Kevin Scott Hall, Bistro Award

 

RE: Just Like a Woman, The Music of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2 - “Janet Planet and her arrangers prove to be quite successful on this CD. They are sensitive to the lyrics, alter and modernize the songs a little without distorting them. Janet Planet is heard throughout in prime form . . . this is an impressive effort that does justice to Bob Dylan's lyrics and features Janet Planet at her best.” 

– Scott Yanow, Jazz Critic, Author and Historian 

 

“Ms. Planet has a stage presence that is unusual and very ingratiating. The connection that she makes with the audience keeps growing throughout her performance. The songs are an eclectic mix by composers as varied as Bob Dylan, Blossom Dearie, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hart and even includes the Russian song Katyusha. Ms. Planet can really swing but when a song calls for tenderness, she switches gears effortlessly and beautifully.”

- Ron Forman, WKRB. 90.3, Kingsbourough Community College, Brooklyn, NY