Retro Jazz Singer Laura Ainsworth Announces National TV Debut, Multiple Award Nominations
It's been one year since Dallas-based lounge/jazz singer Laura Ainsworth (www.lauraainsworth.com) released her critically-acclaimed third album, New Vintage. It turned out to be a roller coaster year that took a disheartening plunge before climbing towards new heights with her upcoming national cable TV debut and multiple award nominations.
Ainsworth said, "I'm thrilled to announce that on September 8th, I will be on the award-winning TBN talk/variety show Huckabee, on the same show with 12-time Grammy winner, Cece Winans." That show will be repeated September 9th, then posted for streaming at TBN.com. Immediately afterward, she heads to Dollywood for the Josie Music Awards, where she is nominated in five categories. November will find her in North Carolina, where she has five nominations in the Artists Music Guild Heritage Awards, an indie artists' event founded by Emmy-winning artist/composer David L. Cook and hosted this year by Thelma Houston. She is also in negotiations to release her entire catalog in Japan.
It's an exciting upswing after hearing damage threatened to derail her momentum. Last August, New Vintage and a best-of vinyl LP, Top Shelf, were released to critical raves. New Vintage, the culmination of her distinctive mix of midcentury lounge jazz with modern twists and her silky, sultry, three-octave voice, won her several awards and a "Best of the Best of 2017" honor from the worldwide lounge podcast, Cocktail Nation; a spot on Jazzweek's Most-Added Chart, her first feature in Downbeat magazine and a solo debut at New York's famed Metropolitan Room.
But it was during that dream-come-true show that she realized she would have to do something about her hearing. Ainsworth says, "As thrilled as I was to perform there, the show left me exhausted, and not in a good way! The sound in my head was so distorted, trying to hear myself and the band was like swimming through molasses."
Her problem will be sadly familiar to fans of '80s rock icon Huey Lewis, who had to cancel a tour due to the same inner ear condition, Meniere's Disease. In Ainsworth's case, violent vertigo attacks had forced her to curtail live shows and concentrate on recording. The silver lining was that her albums (including her debut, Keep It To Yourself, and follow-up, Necessary Evil) won her fans worldwide. But treatment that stopped the vertigo cost her the hearing in her left ear. For a time, she was able to sing live with a monitor on her right side, but the distortion kept worsening.
With bookers clamoring to sign her, technology finally came to the rescue. After much testing, she was recently fitted with a cutting-edge, invisible hearing system that blocks the distortion. For her, it's a true miracle of science that's enabled her to return to the stage, as TBN viewers will soon discover.
As for what the future holds, Ainsworth says, "I hope to keep bringing this sophisticated music into the 21st century and introducing younger listeners to standards and great, long-forgotten tunes. And I'm writing more new songs that I hope people will mistake for forgotten gems from 1952." (One of her originals from New Vintage, "The Man I Love Is Gone," written with veteran jazzman George Gagliardi, scored both Josie and AMG Awards nominations.)
"I'm also thrilled finally to be able to say this: please visit my website (www.lauraainsworth.com) for my recordings, and to book me to sing for you live!"