Jennings and Avi Wisnia Concert

Posted on March 31, 2011

Mary Jennings:

The old adage “big things come in small packages” has perhaps never been more fitting for an artist than in the case of Jennings, the one-name moniker of New York based siren Mary Jennings.

Standing just a shade over five feet tall, Jennings delivers a robust and heartfelt sound that is anything but small-scale.  Her music reflects an enormous strength and drive that is uniquely hers, combining a deep range of rock and pop influences with an unabashed sense of vintage style that few, if any, could ever pull off.  “I believe that the difference between an artist and the average person is a fearless and relentless willingness to expose their quarks, oddities, secrets, and passions for all of the world to see and hear.” says Mary.

Mary’s surge in musical expression started after the sudden death of her mother in 2001. “This tragedy rocked me to the core, but there is so much beauty in what it allowed me to do,” she says. “All of my emotions came pouring out in the form of melody.” At the time, her father, a former musician himself, gave her the option to go through therapy or record an album. He knew both would be equally helpful to her, but by recording her music, she would be able to have something to hold on to and share with others for a lifetime.

It was on that first album that Jennings’ established her creative foundation, crafting music that bonds her to the listener in a genuinely honest and relatable way.  That openness, and the raw emotion that she has shared on subsequent records, has attracted praise from fans and press alike.  “Jennings’ music is sweet, lush, powerful, full of great hooks, intelligent and meaningful to boot! I love it!” said Heather Miller-Rodriguez of 100.1FM KRUU. Platinum award winning producer John Rowe agrees, calling Jennings’ music “creative and original… A breath of fresh air!”

Recent years have seen Mary’s musical aspirations starting to take shape.   She has worked with Billboard-charting songwriters, toured with national acts and has had a number of her songs placed on popular television shows.  While the professional growth and the accolades that have accompanied it are nice, it is still the simple act of connecting with a live audience that she values the most.  “Live performances give me such a rush. It is one of the best parts about being a musician. To me, it was what really brings the music to life. To know that you only have a few moments to capture and audience and keep them engaged long enough to fall in love with you and your music is a difficult task, but one that I wouldn’t trade for any other profession.”

Avi Wisnia:

Think Ben Folds meets Norah Jones, if they had a lovechild in Brazil.

Singer/Songwriter Avi Wisnia presents an eclectic mix of refreshingly original songs, finding inspiration in classic Brazilian bossa nova, acoustic American folk, 1950’s west-coast jazz, and contemporary pop. A wordsmith as well as a composer and performer, Avi’s clever lyrics give a knowing nod to those that came before, while his smooth vocals and deft piano skills assure you that this is truly something new.

Fans say it is Avi Wisnia’s live performance that really captures his musical virtuosity, his humor and his energy. Avi showcases his own music with unexpected arrangements, and he experiments with contemporary pop tunes from artists like Lauryn Hill, Bjork, Wilco and The Cure, stripping them down, taking them apart and reviving them with a new dynamic spirit. Performing in both English and Portuguese, Avi and his talented ensemble also reinterpret the Bossa Nova classics that emerged from Brazil in the late 50?s and 60?s, revisiting legendary Brazilian musicians such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Chico Buarque and Paulinho da Viola.