A Letter, A Starlet, A Lesson in Being Glamorously Nice

Dear Reader,

Once there was a girl who dreamed to sing like Doris Day, while wearing Chanel and a shroud of applause.
And when she grew up...

Jennifer Keith  is a singer of classic American Jazz standards and swing music.

image: facebook.com/profile.php?id=772287058
She performs in her very own "Jennifer Keith Quintet" and with the acclaimed American roots/swing band "Royal Crown Revue".
I love old movies, music and clothing.  It is a goal of mine to keep classic American music and glamour alive and cherished!
The daughter of a writer/director father, the granddaughter of an actor/singer grandfather (featured in the "Wonderful World of Disney" films), her great grandparents were Vaudevillians and she is the Great Great Granddaughter of B.F. Keith (that's the "K" in RKO Studios)... Her grandfather once said, 
"Greece Paint is in Your Veins." 

Having attended the prestigious Orange County High School of the Arts, Keith was exposed to a bevy of musical theater history and training.  She followed that up with music technique and theory studies while in college.
I have been singing for as long as I can remember.  When I was 19, I met tenor saxophonist, Mando Dorame.  He helped start my first jazz quintet and eventually, I began guest-singing with his group, "Royal Crown Revue" to which I was permanently added only a few short years later.  That addition has afforded me the fortune of performing all over the world, in Australia, Spain, England, Greece and even Egypt.
During some of those formative years, while performing with Dorame around Los Angeles, Keith was approached by club presenter Maxwell DeMille.  He was opening a new vintage inspired supper club called Cicada Club and he wanted her to perform there.  
That was around four years ago and I've been singing and frequenting the joint ever since!
Here in LA, her hometown, she also performs with her own "Jennifer Keith Quintet" every Saturday in the Observation Bar aboard the famed Queen Mary and every Wednesday at Bar Thirteen located in Downtown LA.  

Her vintage roots were planted from a very early age, with a love for mid-century cars, music and clothing and her favorite childhood films being those made in the 1940s and '50s.
When I found out that I was actually RELATED to some of the great entertainers of Vaudeville and RKO, it all made sense.  Performing has been in my blood for four generations, so I guess it was inevitable.
Jennifer told us that her musical influences are the songbirds of the golden years: Doris Day, June Christy, Keely Smith, Patti Page, Margaret Whiting, Sarah Vaughan, Jo Stafford... just to name a few.  It seems that they're being beautiful, having poise and great style didn't hurt the impression they left on her either.
L to R: June Christy, Doris Day, Patti Page, Jo Stafford
(images, L to R: s11bdbphotos.com, listal.com, 2.bp.blogspot.com, userserve-ak.last.fm)

She went on to tell us that her hair, makeup and wardrobe approach is often pulled in reference from the Hollywood glamour of bombshells like Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Veronica Lake, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor.  We can't argue with these gals when it comes to style and we can only give Keith a major pat on the back for having such good taste. 
In my opinion, all women have a bit of inner goddess.  Why be afraid to show it?  I think that Hollywood today is lacking the mystery and glamour that it used to have.
L to R: Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Veronica Lake
(images, L to R: celebritiesheight.com, listal.com, demeterclarc.com)

Since she mentioned the big H word, we asked in pulling concepts from film, photography and icons, who would she say are her style-crushes - past and present - and why?  Her answer... Keith is a fan of film noir -- the shadows, contrast and drama have had a hypnotic effect on her (to which we say, then those writers, actors and directors did their jobs well!).
I love the feminine silhouette and I sincerely enjoy being a girl! 
{Any Peggy Lee fans out there?}
Keith intimates that she'd like to be part of bringing back the old glamour and class to the industry.  She says she feels that Hollywood and the music scene are losing the "singer" amidst what she calls "karaoke performers who are lip syncing because they're too out of breath to actually sing while they're doing aerobics on stage."  We love our Gaga as much as anyone else, but we're admittedly guilty of feverishly searching the net for a cappella A/V to remind us why the sirens were such a danger to Odysseus. 

So what would Miss Keith like to impart as a lasting impression on the morale of a generation immersed in E-vites and lost to the tradition of bringing a gift to the gracious host of said party?
image: facebook.com/profile.php?id=772287058
Sam Butera (legendary tenor saxophonist) once told me,
"It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice!"
Having recently recorded her second album (still in the finishing touch process), 
"LIVE from the Queen Mary", Keith's first album, 
"Jenny", can be found on iTunes and CD baby. 

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