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Check out Gretje Angell’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gretje Angell.

Gretje, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a musical home – my dad and grandfather were both jazz drummers. However, as I began singing, I found my voice to be geared more toward classical training, and a more “legit” life. 😉 I’ve sung with two opera companies out of the handful which exist, here, in Los Angeles. With Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera Co., I’ve had the great fortune to perform many roles.

Jazz was always there, though. When I fell pregnant with my first child, I decided to try my hand at stepping into the genre. I figured if I didn’t go for a career at that point, I never would. I began singing in a few restaurants around LA, with some old pros who were VERY kind to me and showed me the ropes. After the appearance of my second baby, I met a guitarist, Dori Amarilio, who would eventually go on to arrange and produce my first album, set to be released this spring, 2018.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
As a jazz vocalist: To me, jazz is music which matters. Steeped in our country’s history, it’s food for one’s soul, and the lyrics and chordal structure are unparalleled by nearly anything being created today. I’m fortunate enough to play with some of the best musicians in the world and improvising on the spot – creating something brand new each time – is the best feeling in the world. The level of trust and intimacy you have with musicians of that caliber is incredible.

As an opera singer: I’m not sure I can fully describe what it feels like to bring roles to life on stage. Learning a role in an opera is so intense – not only is there character development, but you must immerse yourself in the music for months. It’s, quite literally, a full-body experience, and studying what these incredible composers wrote, losing yourself completely in the score, is such a rewarding experience.

The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Of course, there are always financial challenges when you’re doing your art on a professional level. In my opinion, you just cannot give up. Not EVER. You have to believe in yourself, and fight to live the life you’ve always dreamed. Money is fluid: it comes and goes. You just have to keep moving forward, put yourself out there, and trust the work will come.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I regularly perform all over Los Angeles and do some touring nationally and abroad. I have a calendar on my website, and also a weekly email for anyone who wishes to remain updated.

I create my own combos for different venues and private events, and also perform with 2 big bands: The Ladd McIntosh Swing Orchestra and Glen Garrett’s Big Band, as well as Jack’s Cats: a 1930’s & 40’s era swing sextet.

Currently, I have a steady at The Famous in Glendale. Every Monday night from 8-12, I bring in different combinations of instrumentalists to back me. It’s become an unofficial “hang” where musicians know they can come relax and sit-in. 🙂

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.GretjeAngell.com
  • Phone: 8184890521
  • Email: info@gretjeangell.com
  • Instagram: gretjeangell
  • Facebook: @gretjeangel

Image Credit:
Alisa Banks, Dave Welch

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Dom Jones

    May 19, 2018 at 05:38

    Beautiful article on a wonderful lady.

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