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Quiana Lynell at The Cube, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019

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Quiana Lynell is making a lot of noise -- with "A Little Love" to go with it.

The Texas-born singer, now based in Louisiana, has released her debut album after a long period of honing her craft and paying dues. "A Little Love" comes via the patronage and mentorship of trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and after Lynell won the 20178 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The album shows off her range, from Duke Ellington and George Gershwin to Irma Thomas and Chaka Khan, along with a band featuring pianist Cyrus Chestnut and others.

Mostly it marks the arrival of a new talent that's caused a considerable stir, and who plans to have a long future ahead of her...

Lynell, 37, came from a family of vocalists, mostly in the gospel church. She studied singing in school as well. "It was always in my mind, even from the time I was a kid, that I wanted to be a singer," she says by phone. "I just didn't have the reference or the knowledge of how or what that looked like. I just thought someone would find me as a young, aspiring person, but I wasn't doing anything to be found. Nobody can find you if you're not doing the right thing. So when I realized that, it was, 'Alright, let me do it with the best people I can,' and it worked. Somebody did find me."

The divorced mother of two worked for AT&T for a time, gradually hatching a plan about how to pursue her career -- which included full-time work with a band while she also taught music for elementary and middle school students. "I'm a very goal-oriented person if anything I do. If I'm going to do something I want to do it well. I want to know where it's going to go. I don't do things to just be doing it. So I made a plan. I wanted to be Diane Reeves -- that was the goal. How do I become an international, touring jazz artist. So I sat down and made a 10-year plan and started working on it, and it had me right where I am right now."

Now that "A Little Love" spotlights her singing prowess, Lynell hopes to show off her songwriting as well in the future. "The next record I know is going to have some more original stuff. We decided on the first one let's just establish myself artistically, without thinking about breaking down my songwriting or that part of me. So the next record will definitely showcase the arranging and songwriting and composition work that I do. But it'll still be great music that feels good and inspires some type of thought, I hope."

Quiana Lynell performs 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6 in The Cube at the Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. $15 and $49 313-576-5111 or dso.org.

Web Site: www.dso.org

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