Berklee College of Music Advisor
"Forgive me if I don't have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you'll understand."
- Ella Fitzgerald
Whether on stage or in the classroom, these are words that vocalist Jamie Shew seeks to achieve. Isn't that really what all vocalists are trying to accomplish? To be able to project our personal emotions and experiences through song?
Jamie grew up in the Tri-Cities, a group of towns located in south central Washington State. She began her musical training at the age of four, when she was first introduced to the piano. As a young child, she remembers having a special interest in the music of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Dean Martin. She often played radio games with her parents in the car, trying to guess which one was singing while her father was impersonating along.
The desire to sing was very strong for Jamie throughout her childhood, however, she was always needed as an accompanist. It was during her senior year in high school that her jazz choir director gave her the opportunity to sing a Karen Carpenter solo. This was a pivotal moment - she was hooked.
Jamie earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Washington State University and a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance/Jazz Studies at Western Michigan University. As a graduate assistant at WMU, she had the opportunity to study privately with one of her favorite jazz vocalists, Sunny Wilkinson, and perform in Gold Company, the internationally acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble.
As a jazz vocalist, Jamie continues to enjoy a dynamic musical career among many internationally recognized jazz musicians such as Darmon Meador of the New York Voices, Sunny Wilkinson, Nancy King, Steve Christofferson, Royce Campbell, Bruce Babad, Joe Jewell, Tom Knific, Steve Zegree, Shawn "Thunder" Wallace, Doug Bickel, Evan Stone, and Josh Nelson.
Recently, Jamie has finished intensive work recording her debut album, The Answers Are You, featuring her husband and bassist, Roger Shew, guitarist Royce Campbell, percussionist Chris Earley, and Rick Holland on the flugelhorn. The album highlights arrangements by Jamie, along with her original composition "My Only Obsession is You."
Currently, Jamie is Director of Vocal Jazz Studies at Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA and performs regularly in the greater Los Angeles area. Before coming to LA, she was an Assistant Professor of Jazz Voice at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA