Renée Yoxon is, by now, a recognized gem of the Canadian jazz landscape. Renée’s clear, distinct and decidedly unembellished vocal style has invited not only critical respect and praise, but also the admiration of humble jazz listeners all over the world. The key to Renée’s approach and the secret to the young vocalist’s success is, perhaps, rooted in a pure love of jazz. This pure love has compelled Renée to become a perpetual student of the art and the history of jazz music. Renée has inherited, through years of study and training, a lasting respect for the formidable contributions of jazz vocalists, lyricists and composers who have shaped the genre’s development and its resilience. Renée Yoxon is, therefore, a pupil of these varied and necessary influences, combining them to great effect in live performances, as well as on several impressive albums, including Let’s Call It A Day, Here We Go Again, and most recently, Impossible: Live at Musideum, a collaboration with Chad Linsley.
In Renée Yoxon’s music is an unmistakable poise-of-delivery, intelligence and sturdiness that allows every note, turn of phrase and soaring melody line to take up residence in the listener’s heart. This heart-to-heart relationship is only possible because Renée has learned through study, not only the ways to hear, uncover and interpret the subtle magic of a jazz song, but also how to capture it and write it down for one’s own purposes. It is therefore unsurprising that Renée’s discography is replete with songs that manage to honour, with deft lyricism and compositional subtlety, the long and beautiful traditions of vocal jazz, while also retaining an authenticity and creativity wrought from Yoxon’s own life and imagination. The ability to render, through lyricism and elegant vocal interpretation, the best qualities of the jazz songs past, while, at the same time, marking a distinct and necessary territory of one’s own within the contemporary jazz idiom, is not only hard work, but a true sign of mastery.
Renée Yoxon is, therefore, an artist who garners head-nods and plaudits as much from jazz aficionados as from the genre’s new listeners. This Montreal-based, Ontario-bred artist is one who manages to bridge, with remarkable elegance, intuition and craft, the gaps between jazz’s past, its present, and its formidable future. Renée Yoxon’s music provides an emerging picture of what jazz looks like in its full, uncompromised glory, with much of its history and its contemporary influence intact. For this and other reasons, Renée Yoxon is a special artist, one who represents for lovers of jazz and other forms of music, something of a full package; Renée approaches music with sincerity, tenacity and a sensitivity that is deeply human. There is, in Renée’s artistry, a rare melding of craft and feeling, which creates, in the space of one song– or an entire album– a musical experience that is at once articulate, authentic, classic and rich with poignancy.
Renée Yoxon is currently a student of jazz studies at Mcgill University, a freelance vocal coach for young and emerging singers, as well as a co-writer and solo vocalist on three full-length albums: Let’s Call It A Day (with René Gely), Here We Go Again (with Mark Ferguson) and 2015’s, Impossible: Live at Musideum (with Chad Linsley).