Audrey Silver is one of the most elegantly creative singers in jazz today. Known for her smooth, effortless sound, sensitive interpretations, satisfying swing, and unique approach to the American songbook, Audrey sings with a style that radiates her warm, generous personality, Jazztimes’ Christopher Loudon writes, “…her voice is like pure sterling. Her phrasing is exquisite, her clarity and enunciation on par with the great Jo Stafford and her breath control—a talent so often, and so wrongfully, overlooked—rivals Sinatra’s."
Audrey’s steady stream of appearances—including recent performances at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival and New York’s prestigious JVC Jazz Festival—have made her more sought after than ever. Based in New York City, she regularly performs at numerous venues including 55 Bar, Bargemusic, Sweet Rhythm, Cleopatra’s Needle, and The Kitano Hotel. She has become a familiar face at the Metropolitan Room and recently completed a five-month engagement at Bruno Jamais Restaurant and Club.
Audrey received critical praise for her “vocal prowess” in her debut album, Here In My Arms, in which she worked with an extraordinary line-up of musicians: pianist John Cowherd, bassist Doug Weiss, drummer Gerald Cleaver, guitarist Chis Bergson, percussionist Daniel Sadownick, and David Mann on flute and saxophones. In 2009, Audrey produced her latest CD, Dream Awhile, which features many of the players that have worked with her in New York clubs throughout her career, including pianist Joe Barbato, bassist Joe Fitzgerald, guitarist Chris Bergson, and drummers Anthony Pinciotti and Todd Isler. The recording wowed critics, who lauded her thoughtful, charming, and uniquely personal interpretations of 11 lesser-known jazz standards.
Audrey is a storyteller at heart, a performer who loves connecting with her audiences. She respects the power of lyrics, but is equally fascinated by how an artist can alter the mood, meaning and impact of a song through its arrangement. Audrey has an insatiable desire to learn, a vast repertoire, years of jazz piano studies, a well-developed ear for scat and improv, and a musically open mind. These elements combine to make Audrey a singer, bandleader and arranger who delights her audiences and fellow musicians. An avid researcher and broad listener, Audrey continuously adds to her distinctive musical vocabulary, and always surprises audiences with her delightfully original versions of jazz standards. Also inspired by the cabaret world, she enjoys sharing anecdotes between songs, offering an unusually friendly, intimate, and enlightening jazz atmosphere.
Audrey started studying classical piano and cello as a young child, but deep down she alway wanted to be a singer. Audrey explored her love of jazz and popular song by spending hours absorbing the styles of Fred Astaire (she also studied tap) and singing along with the various Broadway musicals—such as The Pajama Game and Guys and Dolls—that comprised much of her father’s record collection. Audrey finally began to explore her vocal skills while studying at Brown University, where she founded the school’s first co-ed jazz a cappella group, The Higher Keys, for which she transcribed and arranged for the first time.
After graduation, her love of music led to employment in the marketing and A&R departments of CBS Masterworks (now SONY Classical) and then as the Director of Marketing for Chesky Records. She earned an MBA at Columbia Business School and worked as an account executive for advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather. But eventually her deep love for jazz drew her back to singing.
In 1998, Audrey met Jon Raney (pianist and son of jazz great, Jimmy Raney). He encouraged her to pursue a career as a singer, and worked with her on a demo in 2000 alongside drummer Ronnie Zito (whose rhythmic skills drove the bands of Woody Herman and Bobby Darin) and bassist Jay Leonhart (a Judy Garland and Tony Bennett favorite). Audrey has also studied privately with vocal priestess Sheila Jordan, as well as Mark Murphy, Grammy nominee and four-time winner of the Downbeat Readers Poll for Male Jazz Singer of the Year. According to Murphy, Audrey “has that rare quality of light infectious swing that lights up her tall willowy persona.”
Audrey’s eclectic background and tireless curiosity continue to inform her understated, intelligent style. Inspired by numerous jazz greats including Joe Williams, Anita O'Day, and Bill Evans, she’s also influenced by an array of musicians and styles, including pop diva Annie Lennox, Yoruban chant, the Brazilian jazz guitarist/composer Djavan, and the atonal explorations of classical composer Arnold Schoenberg.
Ever the explorer, Audrey continues to expand her musical and creative horizons. She is currently working on numerous projects, including a show of her original songs, a recording of early jazz tunes, and a tribute to legendary vocalist Anita O’Day. Also driven by a desire to give back, Audrey regularly performs at senior and community centers throughout New York City, and acknowledges these programs have changed her as a musician and, interestingly, feels they have been among her best.