Lauren Desberg Photo

Lauren Desberg Photo

 

SHORT BIO:

Kimberly is a Schenectady-born 29 year old with an affinity for vintage jazz. She grew up in the Historic Stockade District where sounds of her piano playing could be heard drifting through the centuries-old streets.  Kimberly spent her post-college years working as an administrator and teacher at music schools and arts organizations throughout the Hudson Valley, including Caramoor in Katonah. Her private vocal studies and passion for performance led her to the American Traditions Vocal Competition in 2013, where she was named Gold-Medalist and Winner of the Johnny Mercer Award. During a two-year transition, Kimberly shifted careers from non-profit administrator to self-employed vocalist, instrumentalist, teacher, writer and producer. She has since performed throughout the United States with her 1940's Territory Band, The Swingaroos, and has written original lyrics, music and librettos for jazz-inspired projects throughout New York City. In 2016, Kimberly successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for a debut recording. This album, "Elvanelle & The Escape Act", became the inspiration for and mother to Elvanelle Music. Kimberly relocated to the Catskill region in March and now prepares for the launch of her new business, Elvanelle Music. www.kimberlyhawkey.com / @elvanellemusic

 

LONG BIO:

Kimberly Hawkey is a song revivalist. Inspired by great lyrics and melodies of the last century, she lends her voice to jazz, folk and pop to deliver the collective soul of great music to a new generation. She can be heard performing her celebrated blend in jazz clubs, concert halls, cabarets, theaters, and educational centers - bringing with her the most versatile musicians of the rising scene. As Bandleader and Co-Founder of The Swingaroos Territory Band, her Big Band-era sound earned her praise as "a true lead singer with real presence and substance behind the style" (Sarasota Observer), while BroadwayWorld.com called her "a delightfully fresh-voiced treat" for an Award-winning musical theatre performance. Studio recordings as a bandleader include "All Aboard" by The Swingaroos, and the newly recorded "Elvanelle & The Escape Act" - a curation of American song and originals backed by a jazz ensemble.

Kimberly is also  a dedicated music educator with 10 years experience in vocal and piano instruction. She offers Jazz Singing, A Capella Improv, American Song, and Musical Theatre Audition workshops to musicians of all ages through her company, Elvanelle Music. Kimberly is a former Artistic Administrator at Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts, where she worked with world-class musicians and teaching artists before venturing out to join them. 

She has since performed throughout the United States with her 1940's Territory Band, The Swingaroos, and has written original lyrics, music and librettos for jazz-inspired projects throughout New York City. In 2016, Kimberly successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for a debut recording. This album, "Elvanelle & The Escape Act", became the inspiration for and mother to Elvanelle Music. Kimberly relocated to the Catskill region in March and now prepares for the launch of her new business, Elvanelle Music. www.kimberlyhawkey.com / @elvanellemusic

Recognition: Kimberly has won awards for her versatile performances of American Song through the American Traditions Competition (Gold Medalist & Johnny Mercer Award Winner), Jazz Forum Arts Vocal Competition (Winner), The NYC Cabaret Showdown (2x Winner) and was honored by Onstage as one of the "Top Actresses in a Regional Musical" for Dot/Marie in Sunday in the Park with George. Kimberly has been featured twice in Cabaret Scenes magazine and received rhapsodic reviews for performances with her 1940s band, THE SWINGAROOS and for the release of their original album All Aboard, available on Bandcamp

Appearances: Caramoor Center for Music & The Arts; Clayton Jazz Festival; Django Jazz Club; The Intrepid Museum; Maureen's Jazz Cellar; Laurie Beechman Theatre; Florida Studio Theatre; Birdland; Fort Lee Film Commission; Under St. Mark's Theatre; Elmwood Playhouse; Savannah Theatre; Lucas Theatre for the Arts; White Plains Performing Arts Center; Metropolitan Room; Nyack Art Collective; Zinc Bar; (among others).

Original Shows: THE SWINGAROOS (5-week run at Florida Studio Theatre); AS HERSELF: A Celebration of Big Band Cameos (Premiered 2015. Metropolitan Room NYC); SOUNDIES (Original swing-era musical. Staged Reading - Musical Theatre Factory NYC); SPUN (Cabaret Debut. Premiered 2013. Metropolitan Room NYC).

 

ABOUT ELVANELLE MUSIC

Elvanelle Music is a collective for “time-traveling song”. Founder/Creative Director, Kimberly Hawkey, has big plans to grow her Catskills-based microbusiness from a boutique music booking agency to a community-oriented initiative for music education, concert production, and vintage-inspired events. She desires to bring traditional jazz, blues and folk to the forefront of our consciousness, using them to connect to the past, inspire the present, and to build a future audience for a uniquely American art form.

For more information, please contact Elvanelle Music at mail@elvanellemusic.com or 518-396-9865.

 

THE BACKSTORY

The inspiration for Elvanelle came during preparation for the August 2016 recording and release, when Kimberly purchased a stack of vintage sheet music on eBay. The pieces of music, with their beautiful color illustrations, were to be distributed as Kickstarter perks along with the album. While sorting through the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s popular songs, Kimberly noticed handwritten names jotted neatly on the covers: "Elvanell Ellison", "Mrs. John Horton", "Elva Nell". Some appeared to be gifts from "Daddy" and "Eddie Mayfield". Some were in her personal collection since her maiden days as a teen and some were acquired as a married woman. With each signature, Kimberly dreamed up a new characteristic for this woman of the past. She discovered that Elvanell was born in 1917 in New Mexico and passed on in the 90s while she lived in California. Kimberly only knows what she can imagine about one of the billions of Americans with a shared affinity for classic pop and jazz music. The gap between past and present suddenly disappeared. The blurred lines of historical and future music created a time-travel effect for both performer and listener. After reaching out to her living relatives, Kimberly knows one bit of factual knowledge about the time-traveling-imaginary-persona-meets-real-life figure: She liked "strong coffee in a china cup: always with a saucer."