Twenty-something music prodigy Vincent Ingala is no stranger to contemporary jazz audiences. His heartfelt, sweet and soulful mix has catapulted him to the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, garnering him three Billboard #1s, and eight top 10 hits. The charismatic and handsome instrumental wizard has endeared fans, contemporaries and critics alike with his consummate musicianship, fun-loving stage presence, energized and inspired performances and all-around passion. Ingala, who was handpicked to open for Dave Koz at the tender age of 16, is an old soul with a musical identity and wisdom well beyond his years. He has collaborated with and or opened for such artists as Chris Botti, Jonathan Butler, Peter White and Kim Waters, among others. “I do not remember making a decision about becoming a musician because music was always inside of me,” confides Ingala “My earliest memories are of banging on pots and pans until my parents had to buy me a drum kit and from there it was like a domino effect.” From banging on pots to churning out hits, Ingala is a chameleon in the recording studio. Like an alchemist, he concocts the perfect elixir of his broad musical influences spanning the worlds of jazz, R&B, disco, pop and beyond. A virtual one-man band playing everything from tenor saxophone, piano and drums to guitar, bass and lead vocals, Ingala possesses great ingenuity, extraordinary versatility and an endless supply of inspiration. “I love all types of music and genres and I just absorb as much of it as I can,” explains the young, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. “I have always been mesmerized with the process of multi-track recording from a very young age. It’s a process that I still love and practice today.” April 27, 2018, Vincent Ingala will release his fifth solo recording and Shanachie Entertainment debut, Personal Touch. A collection of eight stirring original tracks and two surprising reinventions of R&B chestnuts, Vincent Ingala proves why he is one of the most exciting artists to emerge in contemporary jazz this past decade.
Danny Weiss, VP Of Jazz A&R for Shanachie Entertainment states, “With Vincent, the sky is the limit. He’s bursting with talent and in fact he’s played every note on this new CD. Still in his early 20s, Vincent has already established himself on the top rung of the smooth jazz ladder and we’re looking forward to taking him to the next level. With his knowledge and interest in all styles of music, there’s no telling where he’ll go from here.”
Personal Touch opens like a radiant sunburst after a long cold winter. The enticing and buoyant number, which is the album’s first single, percolates with warm rhythms that encircle Ingala’s mesmerizing and intoxicating tenor lines. The uplifting and feel-good “My Kind Of Day,” inspired by the ‘perfect summer afternoon,’ follows as Ingala conjures up a sublime dancing groove propelled by his drums. “The saxophone has become the instrument that I identify with the most and that listeners identify me with,” says Ingala. “However, the drums were my very first instrument and still probably my favorite to this day. If I weren’t playing any other instrument today, I’d probably still be a drummer. Rhythm is inside me constantly!” Ingala does justice to Billy Ocean’s 1980s hit single, “Love Zone,” as his tenor and vocals take center stage on his bluesy and sultry rendition. Ingala also tries his hand at another 80s anthem, Alexander O’Neal’s “If You Were Here Tonight,” demonstrating his ability to seamlessly summon deep emotion. Through his longing tenor, Ingala makes the lyrics palpable with each note that seem to sing the lyrics – “As the night moves in love takes on a new meaning. If you were here you would know what I mean to say. The circumstance leaves me only waiting for the chance I only want to love you more, more…” The multi-instrumentalist explains, “I have always been one to record remakes of songs that border on the obscure side. I never go for the obvious. Usually they are songs that people loved initially, but may have forgotten about over the years. In the case of these two songs, they fit the bill perfectly for this album and were a match made in heaven for the sax!”
Personal Touch also highlights the gorgeous and lush “Dream Girl,” which showcases both Ingala’s piano and soprano. The groove-heavy Latin-tinged dance track, “I Think I’m Falling In Love (With You),” takes us on a euphoric rendezvous while “Feng Sway,” finds Ingala kicking it up a few notches, hitting all the right notes. The song title is a nod to “Feng Shui,” the ancient Chinese art/science that is practiced to attain internal and environmental harmony. The driving percussion and guitar centered track is a high point as Ingala gets down and drenches us in a serious funk vibe. He describes his family as the centering force in his life. “Knowing I have their support makes all the difference in the world,” says the multi-instrumentalist. “I especially couldn’t have done it without my parents, Leo and Dawn, who have been there with me every single step of the way since the very beginning.” The wistful and swaying “Can’t Stop The Rain From Falling” provides a tender and introspective moment as Ingala’s tenor transports us on an ethereal voyage. On the R&B jam “Snap, Crackle, Pop,” Ingala delivers an irresistible in-the-pocket groove and hopping melody. Personal Touch concludes with the buttery smooth ballad “Not Meant To Be,” highlighting Ingala’s soulful and fluid guitar lines. The mystical and memorable number is reminiscent of classic Bob James and has all the makings of a hit.
“When I’m not making music, I enjoy cooking!,” shares the Prospect, CT native. “I think the reason that I like it so much is because of how it relates to putting a song together. In the similar way that you take multiple instruments and put them together to form a song, you blend the various ingredients together to form a special dish. It’s an experience to watch both instances come to life step by step.” Vincent Ingala was drawn to the saxophone as a kid. He recalls hearing Sam Butera on the radio and was instantly taken. “I remember hearing his saxophone solo on ‘Oh Marie’ in the car one day while my cousin was driving us around, and immediately knowing that I wanted to play tenor sax. He is one of the most underrated saxophonists of all time. What inspires me most about his playing is his use of the melody and his phrasing. Coming from a musically rich New Orleans background and playing with Louis Prima taught Sam that it’s not necessarily about how many notes you can cram in, or how fast you can play, but rather playing for your audience and giving them a beautiful melody that everyone can relate to.”
Vincent Ingala burst on the contemporary jazz scene in 2010 with the release of his critically heralded debut North End Soul. Two years later Ingala was crowned Billboard “Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year” and Sirius XM Watercolors “Breakthrough Artist Of The Year” in 2013. Ingala’s sophomore recording, Can’t Stop Now, was released in 2012 and Coast To Coast followed in 2015, featuring two singles that hit number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Vincent Ingala featured his vocal driven Christmas in 2016 showcasing holiday classics. Ingala is a DJ on Smooth Jazz 24/7 where he can be heard weekly. “It’s a completely different dynamic being a radio host because you’re now sitting on the other side!,” he exclaims. “You get used to hearing your music being played on the radio, but then suddenly the roles reverse and you’re now the one introducing and spinning the songs. I enjoy being a mascot for the genre and supporting the artists, many of them my friends who I have collaborated with or shared the stage with over the years.”
With the release of Personal Touch, Vincent Ingala further asserts himself as one of the most exciting artists in contemporary jazz. For the multi-talented and multi-dimensional artist, his agenda is simple. “It’s all about the music for me!” declares Ingala. “It always has been, and always will be. All I can ask for is that people feel good when listening to my music.”
The earthy, charismatic and beautiful Lindsey Webster is a surprising and welcomed anomaly in the contemporary jazz world. The sultry and soulful young singer/composer, who has scored two Billboard #1’s on the Contemporary Jazz Chart, making her the first vocalist in the format to garner a #1 since the iconic Sade, is still amazed by her own success. “It is unbelievable that it is really happening” says Webster. “But now that it has, I feel like my world and career have opened up and that it is only the beginning!” Blessed with a honey-toned voice and enviable range, Webster’s uniquely identifiable sound is fueled by potent messages of love that are timely for today’s climate. Webster is holding her own in a largely male dominated genre comprised of artists who are much older than her and she is quickly becoming a favorite on the charts and international touring circuit. Her sophomore Shanachie recording, Love Inside, is about realizing the power that each of us possess as individuals. “So frequently, we are looking outside of ourselves for the answers, when most of the time, we need to address what is within, first” states Webster. “I thought it to be an appropriate title for this album with all of the negativity and animosity that runs rampant in today’s world.” Through a tapestry of twelve evocative originals that fuse the best elements of R&B, jazz, pop and soul, Webster, along with her pianist and husband Keith Slattery, explore the world of love and loss in relationships as well as the love needed to unite and honor one another’s humanity.
Love Inside opens with the album’s title track and catchy first single. Webster sings and reminds us to “Take a moment to count your blessings…” The singer knows a thing or two about taking stock of all of the good that life has to offer. “The new songs are uplifting and positive which is just how I feel!” exclaims the singer. The pulsating “A Love Before” chronicles the trials and tribulations of finding true love. Webster confesses it is one of her favorite songs on the recording. “Bad Grammar (Me & You”) finds Lindsey pleading for another chance at love as she sings, “think about it for a minute more, before you walk out the door. Take a second just think it through, is this the end of me and you?” Slattery’s elegant and pirouetting solo adds a beautiful touch to this heart tugging last appeal for love.
The funk-fueled “Free To Be Me” touches on a topic that Lindsey Webster is passionate about. “This song is an anthem for anyone who is facing injustice in this world today,” states the singer/songwriter. “It was inspired by the subject of immigration that has been an issue at the forefront of our country, but the lyrics kind of morphed the song into something more. It states three things: the problem (people judging each other), how we all unwittingly can be a part of the problem (ignorance), and then offers what I believe will be a solution (our strength as a human race).
Another gem on Love Inside is the wistful bluesy ballad “Dream,” inspired by Dr. King’s infamous 1963 speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial. “I, too, share Dr. King’s dream,” states Lindsey. “This song is about how I will try to live my own life today in order to make this dream a reality tomorrow.”
Love Inside also features “Don’t Give Up On Me,” which speaks to the fear of losing someone you love when you are at your weakest point, while the Latin-tinged “One Last Time” is about two people in love who must part ways in order to honor commitments in their lives. The interlude “Even If He Lied” shows what some people will put up with in order to be in a relationship and the blues ballad “Walk Away” is somewhat of an answer to “Even If He Lied,” offering a different alternative. We have all heard someone say “It’s Not You, It’s Me” but Webster in her typical clever fashion puts a new spin on the saying on her song of the same title. “Typically, a person says this to another during a breakup as a kind of consolation, not wanting the other person to think it is their own fault,” she shares. “In this song, the person who is being left is saying, ‘I know I’ve been acting crazy and I don’t blame you for leaving.’”
A highlight on Love Inside is the insatiable groove and positivity on “Opportunity” as Lindsey sings, “I feel things about to turn around for me cause I’ve been working for a long time ….Just when you think you had enough and you feel you’re gonna give up, that’s when life will turn around and you’ll see, in the problem is the opportunity.” The album closes with “By My Side,” which shines light on the strength gained by having the right person by your side.
“You know you are extra lucky when you find your true love and are then able to share not only your lives with one another, but your passion as well.” Lindsey and Keith married in 2016. “Keith is a blessing for me,” beams Lindsey. “We are always striving to become stronger and better songwriters, and as a team, I really think we have crafted some powerful and beautiful music.”
Webster concludes, “I hope our fans can hear the passion and hard work that went into writing these songs. Although the times are changing and albums are becoming less popular than buying a single, we still like to think of the music we write as a collection. We arranged the songs in a specific order, as to tell a story and bring the listener on a journey.”
Growing up in an artist community, the daughter of loving hippie parents, in Woodstock NY, the allure of music was never far from Lindsey Webster. The singer grew up listening to her parent’s Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Elvis Costello LPs and later the Supremes and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by everyone from Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani to Steely Dan and Earth Wind and Fire, Webster once pursued medical school before finally settling on music. Webster made history in 2016 with her original “Fool Me Once”, which was the first vocally driven song to top the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts since Sade’s Soldier of Love in 2010, beating Sade’s three-week run at #1 with a four-week stay at the top of the chart with “Fool Me Once”. November 2016, Webster made her Shanachie debut with Back To Your Heart, which spawned three songs to make the Top 3 on Billboard (Back To Your Heart, Next To Me, and Where Do You Want To Go), with “Where Do You Want To Go” reaching #1, her second #1 in a year.