Jazz/soul singer/songwriter Jamila Ford has garnered attention for her sizable singing chops. Her slight frame belies a bewitchingly powerful yet smooth mezzo-soprano voice that gets your attention and demands a second listen.
Majoring in music with an emphasis in vocal performance, Jamila attended the University of California Riverside, graduating with her BA in 2001. Since then, she has performed around the world as a solo artist and as a backing vocalist, lending her talent to the projects of artists such as Seal, Angelo (Fishbone), Melody Gardot, Spiritualized (Coachella Festival), and Bonnie Pointer (The Pointer Sisters). Drawing influences from jazz to R&B to pop, she can give you a history of 50 years of American popular music during one of her sets, with her sultry voice providing the linchpin.
Jamila released her debut EP, the breezy Traces of the Day, in January of 2001; the funky ‘70s R&B-inspired Fabulous EP in 2003; and her first full-length album, the soulful and revealing Enough (a nominee for Independent Music Awards best Soul/R&B album), in October 2010.
Her latest EP, the critically-acclaimed The Deep End, was released in September 2014. A collection of reinterpreted standards and an original composition. Jamila’s smoky, sophisticated, and self-assured vocals breathe new life into “All Blues,” “Gentle Rain,” “Sugar,” and “Wild Is the Wind.” Her original composition, “Silencio,” is a strutting Latin-jazz tinged ode to the unspoken connection between lovers. Says Jamila, "I love music and I love to sing. Music is my genuine path in life. It is the best way for me to give of myself to this world. I sacrifice for it in a way that I do for nothing else. I feel most whole and most connected when I’m on stage singing."
The Deep End was included in the first round of ballots for three GRAMMYs for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Best New Artist and Best Engineered Album and earned raves from critics, who hailed her as "...an exquisite song stylist validating an impressive artistic repertoire with economy and style" (CJ Bond, jazmuzic.com) and proclaimed "Ford is ready to take her place among the elite of sophisticated jazz vocalists" (Paul Freeman, Pop Culture Classics).
An active member of West Coast Songwriters (WCS), Jamila was awarded Hollywood Songwriter of the Year for her song “Not Exactly Perfect” in 2007. She went on to compete at the grand finals alongside the year’s other regional winners at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA.
Jamila has played to enthusiastic and supportive audiences at L.A.’s Café Cordiale, Room 5, First and Hope Supper Club, Pips, and Genghis Cohen, and is also excited about her recent foray into performing at house concerts, which gives her a chance to connect with her audience on a more intimate level.
Host Jamila's acoustic duo for a house concert! It's easy and fun! Find out more here.
Want to book Jamila for a donation Based House Concert?