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And it begins…

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I’m Jordyn. I’ve been singing [seriously] since I was 13 years old. When I was in 8th grade, I was overheard singing in my school’s playground by Louis Pecci. (note: I went to a small Christian school, so elementary & middle school was combined- hence, the playground). Louis is the owner of a design/advertising company in Jacksonville, FL, called The Design Factory, and he was interested in helping me start my music career. He gave me the gift of studio time for my 8th grade graduation, and when I entered the recording studio, I was hooked. I knew then what I was on this earth to do… sing.

As my high school years went on, I recorded many demo CDs of other people’s music. I started playing around with lyrics & melodies, and then began co-writing with friends of mine who were musicians. In my senior year of high school, I decided to record a 4-song album of original pop songs that I co-wrote with my producer at the time, Kurt Hawthorne. We recorded all of the instruments and my vocals at his studio in Jacksonville. We then took the tracks up to Nashville to have Brian Fullen record the drums, and to Atlanta to have Sonny Lallerstedt play the guitar. The album was entitled, I Dreamt A Dream.

I taught myself how to sing by emulating the voices of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and other pop divas when I was a little girl. Naturally, I began my music career in pop music, although I’ve always been a huge rock music fan. Led Zeppelin and Queen have always been two of my favorites. After I recorded I Dreamt A Dream, I decided that I wanted to experiment with some edgier music. My amazingly talented friend Lee Miles and I released 4 songs in 2004, and I had no idea at the time what those songs would end up doing for me!

In the summer of 2005, I visited my high school friend, Hans, who was living in Bordighera, Italy at the time. I packed my CDs, instrumental tracks, and other miscellaneous “Jordyn Jackson” stuff just in case. It was a very good thing that I did, because fate was on my side. I met a promoter named Franz Verrando one night at a bar. I gave him a CD, and he immediately went out to his car to play it. He loved it, and quickly started booking me to sing at club openings, city parties, a Veuve Clicquot champagne party, and an MTV Italia-aired show called Fantastica. It was a dream come true. When I was handed money at the end of my performances I thought to myself, “I would PAY someone for this opportunity and I’m the one being paid!” I stayed in Italy a month longer than I had planned to, but had to fly back to the US because I was cast in an independent movie that was going to begin filming soon. When I returned, I was disappointed to find out that the film’s plans weren’t going along as expected. We never shot the movie.

In the summer/fall of 2005, I lived in Orlando, FL, co-writing songs and recording back-up vocals for various artists. I learned SO much by practically living in the recording studio, and when I moved back to Jacksonville, I knew I wanted to start my own project – a rock band. I began searching for band members and musicians that I meshed with musically. This was one of the most stressful endeavors I’ve ever taken on! In the midst of chaos, while on MySpace, I met Randy Winter, who was the writer and guitarist of a local band Veronica’s Veil. He needed a singer for the band, so I joined and after a month of practicing and re-recording the female vocals on their EP, Middle of Nowhere, we went out on tour. We toured the south-eastern US, performing the songs off of Middle of Nowhere and wrote new ones along the way. In 2009, we were ready to record another album with a different musical genre, Enduring Winter EP. Shortly after we finished the album, we parted ways, and I embarked on a new musical direction… Jazz.

Throughout my career, I was told time and again by many different people that I needed to record music that ‘featured’ my voice. I decided that the best possible way to do this would be to choose 10 songs that I felt suited my voice, and then get them arranged to suit it exactly. My manager, Jim Webb, called up his musician friend Jake Smith and set up the perfect project which would later be know as, September in the Garden. To fund most of the album expenses, I sold my car. Jim and I stayed in a corporate apartment in the Garden District of New Orleans, LA for the month of September 2009. Jake and Beau St. Pierre re-arranged my chosen songs, and we went into Fudge Recording Studio to make some magic. We gathered up all of the musicians (listed below), and recorded for two weeks. It was so refreshing to work with musicians who not only were tremendously talented, but who also treated the process like a job. Jacques, one of the engineers, and I experimented with different microphones, mic placement, preamps, compressors, etc. to find the perfect vocal sound for each song. That process is one of my favorites! I left New Orleans with a sense of relief, awe, and excitement that I’ve never felt before.

So, the recording process was complete. At this point, I was in need of a mixer and a masterer. Through the grapevine, Ed Roland, the singer/songwriter of the band Collective Soul heard my rough recordings on a private website. He was interested in the project, so he suggested that I have Shawn Grove mix my album, and offered to let us use his private studio. I was ecstatic about this opportunity and accepted! When I went to Atlanta to hear how Shawn had mixed my songs, I was beyond pleased. His ear for rock music added an element of edginess to my jazz album. I’ll never forget the night I was sitting on a drum chair in Ed’s studio listening to the final mixes with Shawn, Ed, Ed’s dog, and Jim … That was a happy time.

September in the Garden was mixed and in need of the final audio process – mastering. Shawn suggested that Glenn Schick do the mastering because he felt that Glenn’s ear would be perfectly suited for my music. Glenn mastered the songs, and then we took the master copy to S&J CD Duplication in Jacksonville for CD design and duplication. Jeff Fravala is the owner of S&J and I was really excited to finally be able to work with him on an album, as I’ve known him for years and have never been able to collaborate with him. S&J duplicated the CDs, and we released September in the Garden on December 23, 2009… just in time for Christmas!

And here we are. I’m so happy with the direction my career is taking, and I’m really excited about my current album. Next project: re-recording “Time Alone”, a song I wrote with my friend Lee (mentioned above), in Los Angeles, CA. I’ll keep you updated on when that will be happening. I think this will be my longest winded blog on here since it was way overdue! Goodbye for now…

September in the Garden musicians:

Joseph Walker – lead electric guitar
Chris Arceneaux – percussion
Tommy Sciple & Darren Phipps – bass, upright and electric
Jake Smith – acoustic guitar, rhythm electric
Beau St. Pierre – trumpet, organ, piano
Mike Broussard, Jr. – saxophone
Jack Miele – engineer, lap steel guitar
Jacques deLatour – engineer
Sam & Jack Craft – violin & cello