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In the decade-plus since Erin Bode began her professional recording career, she has garnered much critical praise for her pure voice, perfect pitch, and impressive phrasing and style. It is this talent, coupled with her reluctance to accept classification as a purely jazz vocalist, that has led to reviews hailing her as “someone you won’t forget” and comparing her sound to the likes of Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, and Karrin Allyson.
A Minnesota native, Bode was first introduced to music by her father, a Lutheran minister, who emphasized music in daily life and encouraged her to join the church choir. She studied music as well as foreign languages at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and graduated from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. It is at Webster where Erin studied vocal jazz with Christine Hitt who helped to launch her career as a vocalist.
Shortly after graduating college in 2001, Bode produced her first record, Requests. The album was successful in gaining Bode local attention and secured her a recording contract with St. Louis jazz label Maxjazz. Bode has also gained exposure through appearances on various programs including CBS’s “Second Cup Café,” Fox News’ Fox and Friends, and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
To date, Bode and her band have released eight albums and toured the United States, as well overseas to Italy, Japan, and South Africa. The Erin Bode Group creates music forged from the Americana of its members’ Midwestern roots, infused with jazz grooves and made magic by Bode’s bell-like voice. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, further distinguish the band’s fresh sound.
While Bode got her start singing standard jazz, her recent projects have been decidedly more pop-based. Her Little Garden (2008) and Photograph (2010) feature all-original material by Bode and showcase her love of poetry with songs that are rich in harmonic and timbral texture.
Bode’s latest release, Here and Now, is a collection of songs by the master songwriters of the Great American Songbook, replete with clever melodies and witty lyrics.
Erin Bode’s frail, delicate vocal delivery gives her a quality that just wants to grow on you.
—All About Jazz