JaZz News & Vocal Health Tips

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Singing Straight-ahead, Latin and Original JaZz...

... with some of the finest musicians in the Pacific Northwest!

Visit the Videos page to see Carolena and her musicians in action!

Upcoming Public Gigs

The Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival
May 30, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m.
w/ Bill Anschell (piano)
and Osama Afifi (bass)
Seattle Marriott Bellevue
200 110th Ave., NE
Bellevue, WA  98004

Please visit Carolena's Calendar page for additional upcoming public performances.

PLEASE NOTE:  Private events are NOT reflected on the calendar.  Please use the Contact Artist page to inquire about open dates and booking Carolena for your special event.

Tunes - with John Stowell, guitar

Offering Online Voice Lessons

Technology makes it possible for Carolena to teach students from all over the world via the platform Zoom in real time.


What is necessary is a high-speed internet connection, a webcam, an external mic (unless your computer is equipped with a good one) and Voila!  External speakers for your computer are likewise helpful.  Then you can enjoy the benefits of private voice lessons in the comfort of your own home.

Voice Studio Gift Certificates

Voice lessons make the Perfect Gift for friends and loved ones!  Purchase your Gift Certificates today and give the gift of song.

As some know, the great Carl Fontana (world renowned JaZz trombonist) was a friend of mine in Vegas.  Observing Carl was a great gift to me as I was first beginning to learn about JaZz.  Carl would fall in love with a tune and dissect it. He would ferret out it's depths, discovering all that it had to offer.  I would watch and listen, gig after gig, week after week, as Carl's affaire with his newest love would evolve.  He was unrelenting in his investigation of each and every minute detail as he romanced each new tune to life.  This was not a quick process by any stretch of the imagination.

It was from this observation that I learned how to practice.  Spending hours, days, weeks at a time on each tune
often working on groups of measures as opposed to the whole thing discovering it's treasures and working through the kinks, one by one. Joe Baque (yet another superlative world-class JaZz musician) once referred to this process as finding "solutions."  Admittedly, sometimes when I first begin to learn a tune, it feels as though it will never gel ... until suddenly it springs to life, demonstrating that there is still more to discover.

I will often return to tunes that I learned back in the day when I took my first steps on this quest to mastery and find nuances that my ears missed when I was younger and had fewer creative tools at my disposal.  Good practice technique is an endless odyssey of experimentation and discovery, and in the process each tune becomes more effortless as the palate of improvisational choices becomes broader and deeper, and one's grasp on technique in all its aspects improves.

Small bitesThe secret has always been to take small bitesAnd I will admit that there have been times when I have forgotten this and temporarily bitten off more than I could comfortably chew.  However, I am occasionally blessed with reminders of optimal practicing technique.  And I am grateful to the Universe at large for tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Hey, Carolena, go back to what you know best!  Remember those stellar tidbits you received and observed from the greats whose examples started you on this endless path of learning and joy." So in that self-same spirit, I offer the reader the quote below: 

"At [a] party, one of the pianists asked [Bill Evans] what he practiced and he gave us a glimpse at his process.  Like one of his musical phrases, his answer was very succinct.  "I practice the minimum."  He meant the minimum of material, not time.  For me, this was a complete confirmation that focusing on a small amount of material, getting inside it, investigating all its variations, running it through different keys.  In short, mastering it was what separated Bill Evans from so many others.  It was his pathway to mastery."

~Kenny Werner, "Effortless Mastery"