Deborah Swiney

Deborah Swiney is a true chanteuse. You will be able to take a journey back to Harlem Renaissance and experience the legendary eras of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Also, enjoy dancing across the Great American Songbook and a flight to Rio to listen to some Bossa Nova. You might even hear some blues, as she is a Memphis native. Deborah began her love of music at an early age, taking piano lessons and participating in school and church music. Music was a part of my family’s culture growing up. Many genres were influenced, including Nancy Wilson’s music, Aretha Franklin’s songs, The Staple Singers, The Carpenters and B.B. King and classical music all merged together. We also had a Memphis Symphony Orchestra bassoonist as a big brother. Deborah was a regular on the local music scene and eventually got a job as a backup singer for Al Green in the ’90s. This led to international touring. This is what it was like back then. Deborah is a deep-sea jazz fan and performs weekly at Mollie Fontaine Lounge. This old, unique, two-story Victorian Village mansion, with its mix of fancy and love seats, is the perfect place to relax and listen to great music while enjoying a cocktail. Deborah is a singer in a city that loves its Blues, Rocks, Jazz, and Gospel. She has created a unique niche for herself as the co-produced debut album, “I Remember Rio”, which features classic Bossa Nova songs written by Brazilian composers. It’s no surprise that local musicians grace this wonderful foray into smooth South American grooves. They include Memphis veterans Ed Finney and Tony Thomas, Sam Shoup and Tom Lonardo and Felix Hernandez, Ekpe Oloto, Barry Ford, Sr. and Carolyn Wright-Chatman who was also a former backup singer for Al Green. For a Bluff City vocalist, her melodic and soulful approach to Bossanova and other Brazilian stylings is unique. I was transported to Rio by her percussive rhythms and sophisticated vocals. I could close my eyes and picture myself relaxing on a Copacabana and Ipanema beach. from

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