How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before? Donna: I have produced eight CDs in the jazz genre and three singles in the Christian contemporary genre, and one Christmas single. Both are equally my favourite to sing. Jazz is a type of music of African American origin characterized by improvisation and syncopation, where as being a music minister, playing the piano for seventeen years at the First Baptist Church of Monticello. I love church music, especially songs my husband and his writing partner write for me.
What's the significance to your musical moniker? D: My name is Donna Singer, people think it is a stage name, but it is actually my real name. I am married to Roy Singer. We have been married for twenty-five years.
What are your musical influences? D: I love the Great American Songbook. The artists from that era who have influenced me the most were Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sammy Davis Jr.
What are your musical inspirations? D: When I listen to my son Chris playing, Gospel artist Alvin Slaughter, or Kirk Franklin, I know I can keep going on.
If given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with? Rather this is to either write a song or be featured on a track. D: Nancy Wilson and Mel Tormé. To have sung with these two giants of jazz, I would have loved that.
What is your new album about? D: The album is called Dance Band Boogie. It’s an eighteen-piece Big Band Swing album. It’s performed by myself, Donna Singer, and The Diamond Jazz Orchestra.
What’s something you hope people take away from the new songs?
D: The two new releases from that CD are a burning version of "All of Me," arranged by my friend Bill Fleck, and "I Can See Into Your Heart," a beautiful ballad from my husband, composer Roy Singer and lyricist Mitchell Uscher.
Which songs on the album were the most fun to write and which were the most challenging to write? D: This CD was a lot of fun because we recorded it live in concert. Wow, that was exciting!
Do you have any particular favourite songs off the new album? D: The title song, "Dance Band Boogie," features Aldopho Herera on drums, and away we go!
Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a cover. Any reason why? D: I love performing the musical medley I created, Tina Turner, Proud Mary, and Louis Armstrong, When The Saints Go Marching In. They're a crowd favourite, just love good music!
If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be?
D: Rome, Italy. I’ve performed in many beautiful cities in Europe. Paris, Switzerland, and Ireland are my favourites. This July I’m performing in the United Kingdom, but Rome is on my bucket list.
What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year? D: May in Kansas, and June is Count Basie Tribute in Delray, Florida. July in London, August in New York, and this Fall, I play at The Joyful Journey Music Festival.
Thanks for taking the time to talk, Donna. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go? D: Life is very nice. I am so happy to have a career doing what I love most - singing!