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Jeanette Kays

At the tender age of two, Jeanette’s Father, a professional musician, announced to her Mother, “This kid can sing!” And that’s what she’s been doing ever since. Vocal training came via mimicking her Dad’s trumpet scales during his daily practices. Later on, since Mama was such a good singer herself, there would be three part harmonies ringing through the house, with Dad picking up the third part.

Even though Jeanette was given dance and piano lessons, she was always asked to sing. During one performance, in a Louisville theatre, the local paper referred to her as having a very mature voice for such a little girl. She sang for private functions, USO shows, and on radio and TV, either with her Dad accompanying her on guitar, or sometimes with a big band. “Mother tells me that after standing backstage, watching my Dad in a big band, I immediately went up to the singer and told her I was going to do her job when I grew up.”

Winning a national talent contest at age six gave Jeanette the opportunity to go to New York. However, since a baby brother was on the way and the trip couldn’t be made alone, that opportunity never came to fruition. In high school, Jeanette was both encouraged and discouraged to take actual vocal lessons. Advisors suggested her voice and style was already intact and shouldn’t be changed. So, those formal vocal lessons were never pursued. Instead, Jeanette eventually put music on the back burner, got married and had children.

But music is a strong suitor and cannot be denied, so it was back to the microphone and gigs with local dance bands. Teaming up with musical partner Greg Walker occurred in a round-about way after a chance meeting in a recording studio. Both were involved in jingles, Greg as a producer and Jeanette as part of the vocal staff. “Greg is one of the most talented musicians I have ever met and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

The two began performing together with various bass players and drummers. At first, it was the usual club/restaurant material, but they soon learned they shared a love of jazz classics and what is loosely termed Latin music. Their collaboration formed a musical union that has taken them from Boston to Boca Raton.

“I’ve always been drawn to the poetry of good lyrics, so it was natural that I’d end up singing the material of Cole Porter, the Bergmans, Dorothy Fields and other great tin pan alley composers. I’m also totally in love with the very sensual rhythms and music South American countries – Cuba and Brazil in particular.