"For me, music is necessary because it connects us to our past, helps us dream about our future, and reminds us that our very uniqueness is what connects us to everyone else. Plus, I just really like to sing."
Her music connects listeners to her roots deep in Appalachia, where she grew up with the high whine of bluegrass tenors and rustic four part harmonies of hymns. She sings remembering the first time she heard Desafinado on a mix tape and thought her head and heart would explode with inexplicable joy and longing. She sings recalling learning to Foxtrot with her grandfather to dreamy recordings of Count Basie, Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington. Her vocal style inevitably refers to what a misfit she was in high school in 1996, blasting Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and the Beatles almost exclusively from her car. She sings to remember the thrill of unlocking the cadence and poetry of another language, the excitement of learning to understand. Her music is born of finding herself at home in unlikely places, from small jazz clubs in Italy, late night gaffieras in Sao Paulo, bars in Brooklyn and festivals in Kansas, sharing stages with some of the greatest musicians in the world. She sings because life is too short, and because sometimes life feels really long. She sings because the path of beauty is real and true, and she wants to feel all the feelings along the way.
Laura Ann and long-time friend and collaborator, Kevin Harding started Quatro na Bossa to perform Brazilian music in 2003. Together with bassist Rusty Farmer and various drummers, Quatro has performed all over the East Coast at universities and colleges, festivals, parties and private events, and many musical venues, including week long residencies at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Laura Ann has worked with bossa nova and jazz guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Oscar Castro-Neves, as well as Trio da Paz masters Nilson Matta and Romero Lubambo. She studied with famed sambista Fabiana Cozza in Brazil in 2006 and performed at All of Jazz and Espaço Zimbo Trio in São Paulo, Brazil. She recorded an album, Summer Samba, with Quatro na Bossa in New York for Venus Records that was released in May of 2008. In 2012, Quatro na Bossa, with drummer and percussionist Rogerio Boccato, self-released a second full length record, Bossa Nossa. www.quatronabossa.com
Also in 2003, Laura Ann opened for Ray Charles at the Landmark Theatre with pianist Tommy Witten in Richmond, VA. During the early 2000s, she also performed with Carnegie Hall Jazz Band leader Jon Faddis, and bebop trombonist Curtis Fuller and violinist Joe Kennedy. Laura Ann continues to sing from the American songbook for private functions.
In addition to Brazilian music and American standards, Laura Ann began singing with Puerto Rican salsa singer and Bio Ritmo frontman, Reinaldo Alvarez, in 2009. Along with band leader and keyboardist Marlysse Simmons, also from Bio Ritmo, their collaboration led to the birth of Miramar. The group revives Latin American romantic music from the 1950s and 60s, explores the bolero's worldwide influence and performs original material. Miramar released their first full length record, Dedication to Sylvia Rexach on Barbes Records in 2016. http://www.miramar-music.com
Laura Ann also sings with Os Magrelos, a project started by Marylsse Simmons that features original material and some re-imagined Brazilian classics. Band members include Cameron Ralston, Matt Wyatt and Toby Whitaker. Os Magrelos released a 45 on Electric Cowbell in the summer of 2011. https://magrelarose.bandcamp.com
Laura Ann launched a small label, Incline Thine Ear Music, to record original sacred material. You can read more about that and listen at http://inclinethineear.bandcamp.com