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AWARDS

2020 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards Nominee

Best Special Event/Solo for Smolder at the Birdland Theater

BIO

Kristen Lee Sergeant is a singer, songwriter, arranger and performer who has “gone beyond music. She is a conceptual artist…” in the words of author and producer Kabir Seghal. After releasing two albums that both received the distinction of DownBeat Magazine Editor’s Pick, she now brings us “Falling” – her third studio album of largely original material and wholly original vision.

In it, Kristen  delivers a full-bodied concept album, synthesizing her training as a vocalist (from opera to theater to jazz), abilities as a lyricist, and dramatic sensibility as an arranger to give bring her listeners and audiences on a journey of descent. Her curiosity takes the performance from a casual night of falling from grace to the more epic journeys of mythology, outer space, and to the delightful abandon of surrender.

In “Falling” we hear all of her influences — from the music of theater to 70’s rock, from the Great American Songbook to chamber music. Her music has brought her to stages at Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Zinc Bar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, L.A.’s The Blue Whale, and Joe’s Pub for the premiere of this new work — and she is poised to travel farther as the music broadens its reach to the world.

Early in her career, her passion for music and theater led her to work professionally as an actor and singer on the dramatic stage, until she fell in love with jazz while singing with a big band regularly in NYC. She found inspiration from performers current and past such as Marilyn Maye, Dianne Reeves, Mark Murphy and Judy Garland. After finding her voice in jazz, she began writing her own songs and creating her own arrangements — finding both a freedom and a control that no other art form could offer.

In addition to her musical work, Kristen has a deep love and knowledge of fine wine which she shares in her series Jazz & Juice, and produces a bottle, Two Notes, with partner and Grammy winner Ted Nash.

PRESS

Live Performance

“The artist brings a unique feeling of musical exploration to her concerts. She has the vocal ability to follow wherever that exploration might take her, as well as the audience…a stunning sound…this artist will not disappoint.”

—Andrew Poretz, BroadwayWorld, May 2022

full review here

“Oh my gosh. That was my immediate reaction to Kristen Lee Sergeant. Oh my gosh, oh my goodness, golly Moses, holy wow. OMG. Those are the thoughts that were going through my head as I watched the jazz set presented by Kristen Lee Sergeant and friends in the Birdland Theater.

Kristen Lee Sergeant has risen to the occasion and has every tool, every skill, every intention of causing inside of her listeners every emotion a person can feel, all of which she achieves in the most splendidly excessive, intricately contained, theatrically subdued knowing sass. She is an enigmatic ball of fire, energetically laid back, and cool, oh so cool, from the pointed toe of her pump to last wild curl on her strawberry blonde head.”

—Stephen Mosher, Cabaret Editor, BroadwayWorld, November 2019

full review here


Recordings

On “Falling” (so far)

“…sophisticated songs worthy of a stage musical and all built around the idea of letting go and taking chances. The music often changes rhythms and tempos within each song, keeping pace with Sergeant’s dramatic performances.”

Jerome Wilson, AllAboutJazz

“…the alternately sensual and lyrical timbre of the leader dominates this suite with the taste of a magazine editor, with an often astonishing technique and mastery…A captivating and original piece . . . you will not be bored for a second.”

Paris Move

“A superb craftsman…The performance is solid and definitive; arrangements carefully considered and executed.”

All About Jazz

“…Tom Waits minus the growl…it’s just perfect for when the night, a snifter and you need a soundtrack.”

MidWest Jazz Record

“Kristen Lee Sergeant may not be your dad or mom’s prototypical jazz vocalist…It stands as one of the most original vocal recordings you’ll hear, imprinted with a lasting emotional impact that lingers long after the final notes are played and sung.”

Making a Scene 

On “Smolder”

“Sergeant’s training as an actress and classical vocalist enable her to craft moments of engaging drama, whether she’s seductively sliding into a note with a near-whisper, delivering a breathy revelation or belting out a lyric with full-throated muscularity … This elegant album illustrates what can happen when admirable ambition is paired with vocal vibrancy.”

—Bobby Reed, Editor, DownBeat Magazine Editor’s Pick, March 2019

“As an arranger Sergeant paints with beauty and perspective…as a singer she balances passion and poise in her uncovering of the song’s hidden angles and inner truths.

Regardless of what material she’s working with, Sergeant makes her mark by molding a song and owning its intentions with wisdom and clarity…Kristen Lee Sergeant is most certainly deserving of greater recognition.”

—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz, June 2019

“..a Chris Connor thrush for millenials. Handily wrapping a lyric around her little finger, as easily as she will you, with a great, clear voice expressing what the writer wanted from the 30’s to the 80s (and then on to her own stuff from now) this is a solid work of jazz vocal that’s modern but in the tradition. A most solid bet for those who appreciate solid vocal work surrounded by ace cats allowed to do their thing.”

—The Midwest Jazz Record

“A special singer can evoke a thermometer’s span of temperatures while sustaining a singular fire within. Kristen Lee Sergeant is special.”

—Bob Blumenthal, Grammy Award winning author

“Sergeant’s training as an actress and classical vocalist enable her to craft moments of engaging drama, whether she’s seductively sliding into a note with a near-whisper, delivering a breathy revelation or belting out a lyric with full-throated muscularity … This elegant album illustrates what can happen when admirable ambition is paired with vocal vibrancy.”

—Bobby Reed, Editor, DownBeat Magazine Editor’s Pick, March 2019

“As an arranger Sergeant paints with beauty and perspective…as a singer she balances passion and poise in her uncovering of the song’s hidden angles and inner truths.

Regardless of what material she’s working with, Sergeant makes her mark by molding a song and owning its intentions with wisdom and clarity…Kristen Lee Sergeant is most certainly deserving of greater recognition.”

—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz, June 2019

“..a Chris Connor thrush for millenials. Handily wrapping a lyric around her little finger, as easily as she will you, with a great, clear voice expressing what the writer wanted from the 30’s to the 80s (and then on to her own stuff from now) this is a solid work of jazz vocal that’s modern but in the tradition. A most solid bet for those who appreciate solid vocal work surrounded by ace cats allowed to do their thing.”

—The Midwest Jazz Record

“A special singer can evoke a thermometer’s span of temperatures while sustaining a singular fire within. Kristen Lee Sergeant is special.”

—Bob Blumenthal, Grammy Award winning author

“Sergeant’s training as an actress and classical vocalist enable her to craft moments of engaging drama, whether she’s seductively sliding into a note with a near-whisper, delivering a breathy revelation or belting out a lyric with full-throated muscularity … This elegant album illustrates what can happen when admirable ambition is paired with vocal vibrancy.”

—Bobby Reed, Editor, DownBeat Magazine Editor’s Pick, March 2019

“As an arranger Sergeant paints with beauty and perspective…as a singer she balances passion and poise in her uncovering of the song’s hidden angles and inner truths.

Regardless of what material she’s working with, Sergeant makes her mark by molding a song and owning its intentions with wisdom and clarity…Kristen Lee Sergeant is most certainly deserving of greater recognition.”

—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz, June 2019

“..a Chris Connor thrush for millenials. Handily wrapping a lyric around her little finger, as easily as she will you, with a great, clear voice expressing what the writer wanted from the 30’s to the 80s (and then on to her own stuff from now) this is a solid work of jazz vocal that’s modern but in the tradition. A most solid bet for those who appreciate solid vocal work surrounded by ace cats allowed to do their thing.”

—The Midwest Jazz Record

“A special singer can evoke a thermometer’s span of temperatures while sustaining a singular fire within. Kristen Lee Sergeant is special.”

—Bob Blumenthal, Grammy Award winning author


On “Inside Out”

Sergeant puts her theatricality to superb use throughout the program, but does so with enhanced flair on this track. “Inside Out”is a solid debut from a classically trained vocalist whose journey into the jazz realm has already yielded gems; we hope to hear more in the future.

—Bobby Reed, DownBeat Magazine

“Fearless and thoughtful, instinctively unearthing a song’s latent possibilities in ways that other musical performers haven’t, Sergeant recalls the talent for devil-may-care, in-your-face originality associated with Anita O’Day, Abbey Lincoln or Carmen McRae.”

—eJazznow.com


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