Local singer gets moody on new release

DELTA – As anyone who’s ever tried to forge a career out of something creative knows, artists subsist on little cash and rarely have dental plans, let alone the hefty pensions that that their government-employed peers enjoy.

That’s why North Delta-born jazz singer Jaclyn Guillou, who got her first big break performing at Vancouver Jazz Festival in 2009 and subsequently won the CBC Galaxy Rising Star Award, has decided to launch her latest album at Coal Harbour’s PAL Studio Theatre, in Vancouver.

PAL is a social housing complex that provides subsidized living for artists over the age of 55.

“I just wanted to keep with my personal feelings with working together to keep the arts community happy and healthy and PAL Theatre is a very interesting place because of the nature of the building,” Guillou told the Now.

“It’s important and it’s something that, I hope when I’m 55 I get the opportunity to live there and get taken care of in that way, because artists need support as they get older because we don’t have pension plans,” she said.

Released on Oct. 6, Guillou’s latest record is a nine-track disc that explores emotion and nature.

“It evokes a lot of different ideas,” she said. “It’s very dark and moody.”

The album, partially crowdfunded through a Kickstarter campaign, is on the Cellar Live label, headed by former Cellar Jazz Club owner Cory Weeds. The Cellar Jazz Club, based in Kitsilano, closed its doors in February this year.

“[The album] explores the role of nature and the four seasons and how people react and respond to each other and their surroundings,” Guillou said of her latest release.

“In the same context in that matter, the actual title Winter for Beginners has a lot of different meanings but one of them is based on a memory of when I first moved to Toronto to go to school, and it was so cold in the winter that I just couldn’t handle it.”

From the record’s title track to the lyrics on “Castle Garden,” the album is woefully introspective and intimate, making the 100-seat PAL Studio Theatre an appropriate venue for its release.

“The venue is quite small and jazz is just really best heard in an intimate environment. We can bring it to a stage of 1,000 people but there’s this physical feeling about having an intimate show where the audience reacts and responds,” the singer said.

Guillou’s record can be purchased online on iTunes, at Cellarlive.com or at the singer’s personal website, Jaclynguillou.com.

Jaclyn Guillou performs at the PAL Studio Theatre tonight (Oct. 9) at 8 p.m. Tickets for the intimate concert are limited to 100 seats and are available at Northerntickets.com.