Singer Annette St. John is presently appearing at the Smoke club in NYC every Sunday.
St. John has always had music in her blood but opted to raise a family before plunging into the music business, so she got a late start. However, Ms. St. John has not allowed dust to grow at her feet. Instead she has taken her talents on cruise lines, performed at Jazz Outdoors at Lincoln Center, the Cotton Club, and various clubs throughout the Tri-State area.
Presently, St. John is performing at SMOKE, located on 106th and Broadway, in Manhattan. She can be seen on Sunday afternoons where she does three sets starting at 11:00 a.m. SMOKE has a wonderful afternoon brunch which allows folks to catch Ms. St. John and band members Vinnie Reggeri on piano; bass player Bill Morin and Wayne Henderson on drums while enjoying a tasty meal. St. John and the Annette St. John Trio have performed at Smoke every Sunday afternoon for the last six months. On Monday nights she appears at the Cotton Club at 9:00 p.m.
“I admire singers like Etta Jones, Della Griffin, Irene Reid, Dakota Stanton, Sarah Vaughn and sometimes sing songs by George Benton and Natalie Cole at the club. I personally like to sing songs that make me feel what I am singing. I hope to make those listening feel what I am feeling via the musical stories I am attempting to tell them” explained the talented vocalist.
“I am a native New Yorker. Born and raised in Harlem,” remarked Annette. “I always wanted to be a performer but fell and love and got married so I put my musical ambitions on the back burner at that time” recalled Ms. St John who believes her voice is a gift from God. “I consider myself a natural singer. I didn’t go to school to learn how to sing. However, I took several workshops and still do. I went to coaching places, to the Manor House and studied at the Jazz Mobile and study wherever I can get a taste of what I am looking for musically. I also work with the NY Jazz Academy at St Peter’s Church. I am taking a workshop there currently with Miles Griffth. Everyone has a different approach and style but you are never too old to learn. I just like to keep myself and my music fresh. I did some gospel with a group called the Healing Balm. We used to go around singing at various churches and that is how I expressed the gospel within myself” stated the jazz vocalist.
Annette St. John will be appearing at Whole Food Markets, located at 808 Columbus Ave. (97th St) in Manhattan from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. She will be performing at Piccolos on August 6 and 13 at 8:30 p.m. Piccolos is located at 24 Prospect St, in Ridgefield, Ct. Fans can also view the singer performing at Smoke and the Red Rooster on You Tube.
This reporter had the opportunity to talk with Ms. St. John about her current CD recorded at SMOKE entitled Inside Live at SMOKE. The Hammond organ played by Michael Ladon, guitar by Peter Bernstein, sax by Eric Alexander and Joe Farnsworth on drums, gives the CD a wonderful rhythmic appeal that has St John belting out sassy renditions of songs like East of the Sun, Serenade in Blue, Crazy, and CC Ryder, et al. She also recorded a CD entitled “Now is the Time,” which featured songs like A Train and Misty.
St John’s talents have earned her stints at famous clubs such as Sweetwaters, The Blue Note, Cotton Club, The Apollo, Village Vanguard, Londell’s, Tavern on the Green, Showman’s, Birdland, The Europa Club, The Sugar Bar, Cajun and the American Legion in Harlem. Annette has worked with musicians and vocalists the likes of Della Griffin, Lonnie Youngblood, Irene Reed, Fred Staton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Seleno Clark, Nate Lucas, the late great Etta Jones, Doc Pittman and Jimmy Butts.
Interested parties who wish to buy Ms. St John’s CDs can reach her at [email protected] or purchase her CDs at Smokes or at the Cotton Club in Harlem.