Entertainment: Music / Jazz
|May 25, 2006|
Radio TV Philippines Network
She had been part of Southern California's jazzscape since she arrived in Los Angeles in the late eighties. Charmaine Clamor’s voice and looks made her an instant favorite to connossieurs of music in a complex genre.
"I like the swing and the soul of jazz, its complexity and contained power," explained Ms. Clamor. "I believe there are only two types of songs or music -- good and bad. I am attracted to the good ones -- the ones with beautiful melody and timeless lyrics."
Her renditions of eternal favorites such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing” (Duke Ellington) and “The Nearness of You” (Hoagy Carmichael) in the tradition of the Great American Songbook combined with Torch Song Drama bring out the best of Charmaine Clamor. “When you listen to her sing, you’ll love the songs, and you’ll fall in love with her,” a keen patron mused.
"I owe my early exposure to beautiful music to my parents,” said Ms. Clamor. “My earliest memories are waking up to the sound of music coming from our living room. It varied from classical music, Kundiman or jazz."
"My parents said that I started singing a patriotic song
they played a lot on Philippine radio in 1972 when
Martial Law was enforced by then President Ferdinand
Marcos before I could even walk. I used to entertain
passengers in the back of buses at age three when we
travelled from Subic Naval Base to Manila, whether they
liked it or not!"
Influenced early by greats like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn, Ms. Clamor took a path that brought her to the music of Zaxariades, Nancy Wilson, Cassandra Wilson, Tierney Sutton. And of course Kurt Elling and Dianne Reeves.
The turning point in Ms. Clamor’s musical career happened when one of the best jazz harmony ensemble in Southern California, CRESCENDO, managed by Mr. Bobbie Garcia, its founder and musical director, saw her at a karaoke bar in Glendale. Since 1996 Ms. Clamor, as the alto of the five part jazz vocal ensemble toured and performed throughout Southern California. A debut CD was released in 2004.
In November 2005 Ms. Clamor came out with her first solo label album "Searching for the Soul" through Freeham Records. Her first release was inspired by love as she reveals. "I think love is our most powerful emotion. All the tracks on this album is about love," said the sultry artist.
Was the album about Ms. Clamor? Did she have someone in
mind that inspired her?
"I think love is our most powerful emotion," she said, elegantly fending off the intrusiveness. "As you know, all the tracks on this album is about love…I must say we could all relate to the message of each love song on this CD whether it is about unrequited love, new love, or the unconditional kind."
But was there someone who personally inspired her? Ms. Clamor charmingly set aside the poking inquisitiveness. "It is a combination of many - my personal journey in seeking a sense of self, my family, my musical muses."
Charmaine Clamor has the voice, the charm, the beauty - much like those which blessed Sade, Diana Krall and Eliane Elias. However, the path to success can be thorny and chances uneven.
How had Ms. Clamor fared so far? "I need to continue to grow as an artist, continue to realize what I want to express to my audience and be able to make a strong impact when I do so."
In an industry where you either have it or not is the easy part, the marketing challenge is a reality everyone is confronted with. "Most of the time a huge machinery is needed in order to have higher visibility and this is a challenge to an independent artist like myself."
Ms. Clamor takes the marketing bull by the horns. "This is where I need the full support of music lovers and the community who dig what I am doing. They can access my website at www.CharmaineClamor.com for info on how to purchase my CD, attend my upcoming shows, or request my songs to be played on the radio."
So far things have been gradual but very well according to Ms. Clamor. “My debut CD, Searching for the Soul, is currently being played at 45+ radio stations in America. It has gotten rave reviews. I was able to participate at my first international jazz festival in Manila, Philippines in January of this year. I am slowly beginning to have a broader audience."
An appreciation of life other than music is high on Ms. Clamor’s priorities. "I am a licensed physical therapist. I work a few hours a week with pediatrics and adults not only to maintain my skills but also because I enjoy it very much. I enjoy hiking, yoga and spending quality time with my family and friends."
What does the future hold for this diva in the making? "There are many exciting opportunities ahead. I am currently working with a new band in which we are trying to incorporate Filipino soul into jazz with a world/ethnic flavor. My recording company has approached me with new ideas for future recording. I have interesting shows coming this year. And I am planning to get my doctorate in physical therapy maybe next year.”
Doubtless there are busy days ahead, but for this talented lady, success is but a whisper away. (RTVPHILNET)