photo: Nic Cecire
A late bloomer, Elizabeth describes writing and performing her own music for the first time as ‘finally coming home’. It was a long held dream to combine
her passions - of jazz, beautiful songs, albums and her diversity as a vocalist, pianist, flugelhorn player and song writer. But it's been a long journey from her days as
a freelance trumpet player.
Elizabeth remembers a life changing moment, walking home from a jazz big band rehearsal one sunny morning years ago. “I suddenly realized I couldn't do it anymore. As grateful as I was, I had to find my own voice.”
Find her voice she did; in 2000, encouraged by her singing teacher, Elizabeth recorded a self titled album of jazz standards. It followed ten years she spent as a freelance trumpet player and jazz singer performing in bands at Australian jazz festivals and in the USA at Monterey Jazz Festival. A featured singer for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the Legends of Jazz at Jazz in the Domain, Elizabeth also had played in backing bands for artists on occasion including James Morrison including for the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 , Marcia Hines, Harry Secombe, Gene Pitney and Barbara Morrison.
with Nic Cecire (drums) photo: Cathy Cecire
But recording her own album opened up a whole new world. Media reviews, community and ABC radio support followed with jazz icon Don Burrows declaring it 'very, very special... a uniqueness you want to cling to... the best record I have heard in a long time.'
In 2003 Elizabeth took another leap of faith - exploring songwriting for the first time - to make album 'The Dream' - collaborating with multi-award winning songwriter/instrumentalist Tony King. The Dream was recognised for its timeless, unique, fragile beauty; the first true expression to highlight just how unique and brave she is as an artist yet surprisingly accessible. in 2007 Elizabeth toured the US and Europe, performing extensively in venues and opening up the possibility of a new international fan base.
In 2008 Elizabeth wrote and recorded album, 'On Patrol With The Jazz Police', leaning back to her jazz roots while still retaining the uniqueness of The Dream. In 2009 The Dream won Best Song at international music competition IAC and was featured on the American US Smooth Jazz Compilation Album in 2010.
The late, great Bruce Lundvall of Blue Note Records/ EMI who signed Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock and Norah Jones among others, became a champion, featuring Elizabeth's music on his Sirius XM/Radio Blue Note Hour in New York in 2013 saying -
"She's a force of nature. Amazing singer and songwriter, original vocalist, wonderful trumpet player and multi instrumentalist. She writes songs that come directly from the heart.”
with George Golla
David Hoffman, long term arranger and trumpet player for Ray Charles says, “ Elizabeth Geyer's music is heartfelt, soulful and beautiful. She's equally proficient on piano and flugelhorn, both of which she utilizes to enhance her deep clear voice. As a singer/songwriter she's equal to the best. Her music is as honest as it gets!”
Which brings us to her long awaited fourth album, The Bridge (2016). Elizabeth explains -
“I had waited seven years for the right opportunity to record again. It had to feel right! A CD had arrived in the post, In The Land Where I Come From by Paul Adams. Late one night a few seconds into my first listen, I just knew. Everything about it was weird, wonderful, humble, charming and timeless. All I had to do was contact and convince Paul.”
Paul was convinced – Elizabeth flew from Australia to Illinois and the rest is history.
Award winning multi instrumentalist and her collaborator Paul Adams states, “Elizabeth's songs are like a classic novel. One is pulled to the depth of the human condition, and each listen delivers a new and wondrous take on the world within. It's a magical story that continues to reveal itself listen after listen.”
with Nic Cecire (drums) , Gary Holgate (bass) - Darling Harbour Jazz Festival