Cadencefest 2016

Marie Black present NOISY ON THE INSIDE

Festival of the Unknown June 2, 2016 at Classic Piano 8PM.

Cadence Magazine presents it's annual night devoted to the improvised arts.
$10 to $20 at the door.


Marie Black has written songs since she learned her first three chords on a Harmony guitar. She’s been singing since her mama shared her private classical voice lessons with her beginning at age six. Upon the audience’s applause at her first recital of “Edelweiss,” Marie subconsciously vowed to follow the singer’s journey.

In San Francisco, Black voraciously studied music theory, jazz voice, pop and soul voice, rock and jazz guitar and drama. She led bands, sang in popular bands from jazz to swamp rock and gigged regularly. She worked administration jobs at Hyde Street Studios and DeLeon Artists, (Etta James’ management) and was offered a studio manager’s job at Sandy Pearlman’s Studio A. These were experiences that cultivated business savvy and exposed her to top players, producers, comedians, and heavyweight bands and gave her a glimpse of studio life. She made demos with studio engineers Garry Creiman and John Cunniberti, Alex Wier, guitarist in the Brothers Johnson and Talking Heads movie “Stop Making Sense.” She once played pool with Chris Isaak and kicked his butt. Joe Satriani gave her guitar tips whenever he was around the studio. She moved to Austin and explored SXSW and Kerrville Folk Festival, garnering some management and label attention that fell flat. Her first album, Saints, was recorded in San Francisco at Coast Recorders, engineered by Gary Mankin and mastered in Austin. Live shows, radio interviews and TV performances expanded her audience to Eastern Europe where it made regular rotation.

After moving to Portland, she focused on a degree in Psychology and Somatic Arts as well as studying improvisational comedy for two years.

After a disenchanting experience recording her second album, Water Me, Black went on a quest for reinvention. She was introduced to a voice teacher said to be brilliant and set out to watch her in action. She then made the decision to learn the art of voice teaching and was accepted into an intensive yearlong voice teaching apprenticeship at Transformational Voice Institute.

Back in San Francisco, as a student of Raz Kennedy, a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra, she was invited to help McFerrin at his first 24 hour Chant for World Peace at Grace Cathedral. Black (then known as Marie Swan) and other Bay area singers, assisted McFerrin in passing parts to the 2000 person audience. Marie was forever changed by the power of this group chant, but it would be decades till she serendipitously discovered that McFerrin taught this form that he calls “CircleSongs.”

Black now has the unique credential of being the only TVI graduate who has also studied rapaciously with McFerrin, Rhiannon, Bob Stoloff and Roger Treece. She loves helping singers of all backgrounds and levels sing with less fear and tension. She approaches voice teaching and singing as healing arts. Her mission is to be an exemplar of vocal and expressive freedom. Her studio, Holistic Voice Lab, offers classes that are half voice theory and half improv fun. The A Cappella One Heart Ensemble has blossomed out of this effort. She holds workshops at Artichoke Music School and VOX Academy.

You can catch one of Marie’s performances in varying venues and styles. Her song, Portland Rain, is on local radio rotation. She can be seen playing in occasional tribute shows (Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Patti Smith), or with her band in her songwriting outfit, or you can catch her playing her collection of hand hammered Tibetan Bowls, in an act called “Mele Luna,” a combination of Spanish and Hawaiian for “Moon Music.” The bowls evoke spontaneous singing and Marie encourages deep inner song from the audience, one of the ways she teaches voice as a healing art. You may see her with her students singing CircleSongs or jamming at a Portland park. She can also be found singing in the Improviser’s Group at Classic Piano on first Thursdays at the Cadence Festival of the Unknown. She will debut her one-woman show, SHAKE the WATER, at Classic Piano on October 1.

Her third album will be available soon.

“Black’s deep vibrato and confident delivery could distinguish her in the femme-folk-rock sweepstakes” . . . Jeff Rosenberg, Willamette Week

"Her sultry voice, smooth and sweet as honey, is a perfect foil to her bittersweet songs". . . SF Weekly

"Raw, powerful, dynamic, silky smooth vocals". . . Texas Beat

"She's the real thing." Lloyd Maines, Producer, Pedal Steel Guitarist



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