Over the course of seven albums and two DVDS during the past decade, New York vocalist Jane Monheit has earned the respect of the jazz and cabaret worlds. But, she notes, that wasn’t always the case.
“Ten years ago I was 22 and I was pretty and everyone was kind of, ‘How dare she ...’ ” says Monheit, 32. “But now that I’m not a hot little ticket anymore and I have a child, people take me more seriously.
“Once people know me and hear my work and know that I’m an actual musician and not just a singer, they treat me fine. And if they don’t, I don’t work with them again. I have what I like to call a no (jerks) policy in my work now. If I stick to that, it’s usually fine.”
Monheit intended her latest album, “The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me” — named after the Muppets song from “Rainbow Connection” — to be a full jazz work, but when she took a maternity break, the record company decided to shift directions and make it a mix of that, pop songs (by Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Fiona Apple and others) and Brazilian tracks. But, she says, her wish list for future musical projects continues to grow.
“There’s so many things I want to do,” Monheit explains. “I want to make a really swinging big band record. I want to make a beautiful orchestral album of musical theater-type things — I’d like to do actual musical theater again, too. And of course I want to do more Brazilian music.
“But I’m really focused on raising my child right now. That’s the No. 1 priority, of course, and everything else will come in due time.”
Jane Monheit and her band perform at 8 p.m. Friday (Feb. 12) at Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $19-52. Call 313-576-5111 or visit www.detroitsymphony.org.
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