* Winner 2007 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Female Vocalist of the Year
* 2007 Gemini Nominee
* 2007 Juno Nominee
* 2006 Toronto Independent Music Awards Nominee
2007 Juno and Gemini Award nominated singer-songwriter Kellylee Evans is a unique voice in the urban-jazz world, and many of today’s top musicians have taken notice. With a smooth style that slides through jazz, soul, R & B, blues and world music rhythms, Kellylee’s calming sound speaks volumes; Rich, soothing, robust and energizing, And with a songwriting talent being compared to Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann and Ron Sexsmith, this eclectic artist ignites inspiration. From the sultry "What About Me?" to the bluesy "I Don't Think I Want To Know", to the reggae-flavored "Let's Call A Truce Tonight" and sexy poetical Spanish vibe of "Rapunzel", the album is an eclectic and focused effort, held together by Kellylee's rich, expressive, effortless vocal range.Kellylee was born in Toronto, but is now based just outside the Canadian capital of Ottawa. With the help Chicago-born bassist Lonnie Plaxico (Art Blakey, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Wynton Marsalis. Cassandra Wilson, Cyndi Lauper), Kellylee went to New York for a whirlwind two-day recording session at a Manhattan studio. Helping out on the album were keyboardist/pianist George Colligan (Cassandra Wilson, Ravi Coltrane), guitarist Marvin Sewell (Cassandra Wilson, George Benson, David Sanborn), drummer Steve Hass (Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, The Manhattan Transfer), and percussionist Kahlil Kwame Bell (Erykah Badu, Roberta Flack). Trumpet player Alexander Norris and accordionist Rachelle Garniez also lent their talents to a track apiece. The recording resulted in 11 of her original compositions and as a bonus, an alternate recording of "What About Me?"Her talent has gained her the attention of many in the music industry. In 2004, Kellylee was awarded second place in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, held at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The judges – Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Jimmy Scott and Flora Purim chose Kellylee out of a pool of over 160 gifted vocalists from around the world. Since her win, she has performed with award-winning saxophonist Jane Bunnett and has been invited to open for Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, Derek Trucks and Maceo Parker. In 2006, she performed to two sold out shows at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 2007, Kellylee embarked on her first tour of the major Canadian jazz and folk festivals, including the Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal International Jazz Festivals. Evans has also studied with bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Diana Krall) and vocalist Janis Seigel (Manhattan Transfer) at Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy in Aspen, Colorado. Since it's release in May 2006, "Fight or Flight?" has been receiving significant airplay on the CBC, college and community radio in Canada. It has also received adds at commercial Jazz radio. The album has also been released in the U.S. and was available exclusively at Barnes and Noble for the month of July 2006 in all their stores, as well as on BN.com. The title was also selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great Music title from August to October, an impressive feat for an independent artist.In addition to being a 2007 Gemini Award nominee alongside Michael Buble and Measha Brueggergosman and a Toronto Independent Music Award nominee for Best Jazz, she is also the winner of a 2007 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Female Vocalist of the Year and nominee for a 2007 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album. Other nominees that year were Diana Krall, Molly Johnson, Lori Cullen and Elizabeth Shepherd.
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One of the 5 Must See Concerts of the Summer. ~ Avril Benoit
— CBC Radio (Jul 19, 2011)
Alongside sparse, groove-based jazz, Evans sang dominantly, filling each vocal belt with enough soothing, syrupy soul to conjure up comparisons to Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and a bevy of other jazzy heavyweights. Featuring songs off her highly-anticipated debut, Fight or Flight?, Evans is a budding talent in Canada’s jazz-urban scene, and is well worth a listen after a good dusting of old Billie Holiday LPs.
— Exclaim! Magazine (Jul 19, 2011)