At its best, Jazz is an art form of soulful improvisation and this description fits perfectly the story behind Snooty Garland, the artistic vision of a powerful genre bending performer, Elizabeth Dellinger.
Music was in her blood since the day she heard Judy Garland perform “Over the Rainbow” in black and white. Discovering the work of Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin, all soulful performers, the young “Lady Elizabeth” was inspired to make her own music. “Soul music is anything communicated soulfully,” she says.
When she as 19, Elizabeth Dellinger wrote a screenplay about a fictitious Deee-Lite cover band where the subtext was that music was not an easy life but it was rewarding. The movie never got off the ground but the idea and the name of the fictional cover band stuck with her. The name of the band was “Snooty Garland”. After working in many aspects of the music industry, mostly behind the scenes, Dellinger wanted to create music for herself and found a cadre of likeminded musicians. As they worked on their sound, she searched for a distinct name for the band and recalled the name from her screenplay and in that improvisational moment “Snooty Garland” was born.
Snooty Garland’s sound is jazz with a soulful twist. “The spirit of jazz is improvisational. It is helping me find my voice again and it’s limitless.”
The story took a dark turn for there was a time when Elizabeth experienced life without her voice and there was a threat that he could have lost it permanently. She survived two cancer surgeries, one of which left her with bi-lateral vocal paralysis. 28 lymph nodes were removed from her neck and for a time she lost the primal vibration in her throat. But today she lives cancer free and her voice “improves by the day”. Snooty Garland will perform a comeback concert on 3/21/2015 at the Bijou in Bridgeport.
“The immense support from the CT music community has carried me through each moment of this. They never let my feet touch the ground,” says Elizabeth. “Music heals. Somehow, this most challenging experience is making me a better artist, a finer human being and a higher version of myself.”
After the comeback concert, Snooty Garland will perform on Swan Day, an event important to Elizabeth for she finds it is a beautiful symbol of transformation and grace. “I wanted to be in the presence of other female artists.” She considers the idea that the Connecticut music scene can be a particularly male dominated scene so SWAN day is an important event.
Dellinger plans to travel at the end of 2015 and find inspiration in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. There she plans to explore, discover and write and like the improvisational magic of the music she loves, there is no doubt she will create something beautiful, interesting and new.
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