Esther Haynes

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Esther Haynes is a vocalist and guitarist residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Her vocal styles range from vintage jazz to swing, blues, bossas, and bluegrass.

She has been nominated for several Washington Area Music Awards including Debut Recording, Jazz Vocalist, Big Band Vocalist, and Jazz Duo/Group.  In 2003 she received a WAMMIE for Big Band Vocalist, and was nominated for Jazz and Big Band Vocalist in 2004.

 "I've listened to Esther next to Norah Jones and Madeliene Peyro"

I've been a musician a long time and the first time I heard Esther I knew she was very special. This CD has become my all time favorite. The nuanced performance of Esther along with the lyrical guitar of Justin is absolutely addictive. I wanted to make sure I wasn't deluding myself so I've listened to both of her CDs in random rotation with the likes of Norah Jones and Madeliene Peyroux and Esther wins hands down. Definitely a talent deserving of much, much, much wider recognition. Buy this CD and listen to it undisturbed. Once you're inside it you will know what I mean. This is one of those rare records that gets better every time you hear it. - Jay Kavanaugh

Esther your voice is like the fountain of youth! Thanks for coming out to The Shenandoah Valley and playing at The Art Group. The sound and style of your voice makes people feel young.- Mark

"I saw her perform live recently with Phil Mathieu on guitar and was completely blown away. We have been wearing out her CDs ever since. Her voice calls to mind Billie Holiday and several other great jazz singers. She is a local treasure and I am delighted to have made acquaintance with her and her music." Jean

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More on Esther Haynes

Her band affiliations include Hokum Jazz, Martini Red, the Tom Cunningham Orchestra, and several duos and trios.  She has performed with local guitarists Phil Mathieu, Justin Lees, Rusty Bogart and others.

In 2001 she recorded a cd of vintage vocal tunes in tribute early jazz vocalists such as Alberta Hunter, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Lil Green, Ella Fitzgerald, Memphis Minnie, and others.  This recording is complemented by a numerous D.C. area musicians including Nevada Newman, Akira Otsuka, Tad Marks, J.C. Veve, Seth Kibel and others.  The cd has received favorable local and online press as well as airplay on Hot Jazz Saturday Night and Mary Cliff's WETA program.

In 2004 she released a cd of standards, swing, and bossas entitled "Approach Note". The cd features vocals accompanied by the superlative jazz stylings of Justin Lees (who now resides in NYC) and Nick Smiley on acoustic bass. 

Originally from Virginia, she learned folk and bluegrass in her youth.  Later she attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where she studied voice and professional music.  In Boston she worked in the bluegrass/swing group, Boston City Limits, and in a duo with ragtime guitarist Larry Unger.   She has also worked with jazz guitarist John Dirac of Boston's Either Orchestra.  She spent two years in Israel where she fronted a group called "The Cotton Club Band" featuring jazz guitarist David Matarasso and drummer Ilan Katchke.  She also worked in an acoustic blues/country duo called the "Southern Comfort Duo".

In the future, she hopes to continue to record and travel abroad with her music.

Esther teaches guitar, voice and banjo in Takoma Park, MD.  She holds a Master of Education Degree from Marymount University in Arlington, VA as well as a Diploma in Professional Music and Voice from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. - more info on Esther Haynes

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