Above: Angela is pictured on her Night We Couldn't Say Good Night tour to Ontario at the Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada with L-R: Jazz Pianist of the Year Bernie Senensky, 7-time Juno award winner Neil Swainson, and Order of Canada recipient jazz drummer Terry Clarke.
“Angela has good humor, good sense, and good taste, a rare combination. She is a hilariously pungent comedian / social critic / swing psychologist and a born storyteller. Angela has a remarkably winning voice. She is a pleasure to listen to, sometimes lemony, sometimes warm and embracing. She is the sole composer of three of the dozen songs on her most recent album, and the funny, playful lyricist for the other nine. Her work is head and shoulders above the usual flood of vocal jazz albums.”
Full Length Bio
JazzTimes Magazine writes that Canadian jazz vocalist Angela Verbrugge "possesses a winsome, brightly-burnished, pliable voice, with ample emotional intelligence, considerable song-writing skills, and conspicuously good taste.” In 2021, amazingly as a relative newcomer, Angela won the JazzTimes Readers' Poll, for Best Female Vocalist (Diana Krall, Cecile McLoren Salvant and Veronica Swift were named as runners up).
Angela recorded her debut album with a veteran piano trio in New York and released it through Gut String Records in 2019. The album debuted at #1 in jazz on iTunes Canada. CBC Radio jazz host Laila Biali described, "There's so much joy in delivery.” Wall Street Journal-writer and acclaimed author Will Friedwald writes in his liner notes that Verbrugge possesses, "a vocal sound that's full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light without denying the existence of the darkness” and that she works with a “top-drawer arranging crew and cast of expert musicians”.
Angela was one of the youngest graduates from Toronto’s George Brown School of Performing Arts after a youth spent active on the arts scene of her birth city, Kingston, Ontario. She relocated to Vancouver in 1997 and started spending most her time in Victoria in 2019. After having three kids (now 14, 15 and 17) and three brushes with death (drowning, car accident and cancer), she followed her passion to jazz by curating her own musical education through mentorship from band-mates, jam sessions, and over the years with leading musicians on the Vancouver scene. A life-long student, Angela has sought out lessons from acclaimed vocalists and musicians including Karrin Allyson, Sheila Jordan and technique under masters such as Caity Gyorgy, Lisa Popeil, Cecile LaRochelle and Judith Rabinovitch.
Angela is primarily influenced by traditional jazz, the swing era, vintage musicals, and bebop. As a lyricist, her work has received critical acclaim. “She is a witty songwriter, drawing on Cole Porter, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Johnny Mercer for inspiration and rapid-fire rhymes, occasionally resembling a less vinegary Dave Frishberg.” (JAZZ LIVES)
She has appeared at Pizza Express London, the top jazz clubs in Istanbul, as a featured performer in Spain and Germany. Back in Canada, she lead groups on the main stages of the Victoria Jazz Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival, and at many premier Canadian jazz venues such as Frankie’s Jazz Club Vancouver, Hermann’s Jazz Club Victoria, and the Rex Jazz Club in Toronto, and will be touring to leading venues in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa in February 2022. She has been a guest performer at clubs in including Tula's in Seattle, and NYC venues such as Django, Fat Cat, Smalls, and Mezzrow. Her trios have included such acclaimed musicians as Cameron Brown, Anthony Pinciotti, Neil Swainson, Miles Black, Cory Weeds, Paul Rushka, Julian MacDonough, Ray Gallon, Jesse Cahill, Joe Poole, Bernie Senensky, Terry Clarke and Evan Sherman. Her record received critical acclaim from radio/podcast hosts across the globe, with airplay on CBC Saturday Night Jazz, Hot Air, NPR, popular jazz programs the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia. She has charted on both JazzWeek and EarShot, and the later chart selected her debut as a top 10 vocal jazz release in 2019, while seasoned critic Scott Yanow noted in his Top Most Memorable Listens of 2021.
George Harris at Jazz Weekly sums it up, describing, Angela is "fun and quirky, hip and a hoot, wispy and romantic; she slithers and oozes, and cleverly swings... in the Archie Comics of life, this lady is a bubbly Betty.”
JazzTimes Magazine writes that charismatic Canadian jazz vocalist Angela Verbrugge "possesses a winsome, brightly-burnished, pliable voice, with ample emotional intelligence, and conspicuously good taste.” Angela won the 2020 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Female Vocalist and was named in Scott Yanow “2021 Most Memorable Listens” list. She released her debut album, The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night, through Gut String Records (NYC). Toronto Music Report described, “Verbrugge addresses each song with the breathtakingly, absolutely natural purity of her voice. A rare perfect album.” CBC Radio host Laila Biali described, "There's so much joy in delivery.” WSJ-writer Will Friedwald describes, "a vocal sound that's full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light without denying the darkness”. Angela was one of the youngest graduates from Toronto’s George Brown School of Performing Arts after a youth spent in Ontario. She relocated to Vancouver (1997) and after having kids and three brushes with death, she decided to follow her passion to jazz. She relocated to Victoria on Vancouver Island in 2019. Angela is primarily influenced by the swing era, vintage musicals, and bebop. She has appeared at the Victoria Jazz Festival, the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and top jazz clubs internationally such as Pizza Express London (Soho) and leading venues in Istanbul. Back in Canada, she tours to venues such as Frankie’s, Hermann’s, Yardbird Suite, Alvin’s Jazz Club and the Rex. Her trios have included such Ray Gallon, Cameron Brown, Neil Swainson, Miles Black, Cory Weeds, Bernie Senensky, and Terry Clarke.
Very Short Bio
Angela Verbrugge caught listeners’ ears with her debut album (released on NYC’s Gut String Records) and she won this year’s JazzTimes Readers’ Poll in the female jazz vocalist category. The magazine’s review of her album describes that Angela, who takes inspiration from vintage musicals, the swing era, blues, and bebop, has “conspicuously good taste”. Toronto Music Report writes that she is “a gem of a vocalist who makes all her chosen material sound magical. Her song-writing collaborations have received features in JAZZIZ Magazine. JazzWeekly describes the former actress as “fun and quirky, hip and a hoot, wispy and romantic; she slithers and oozes, and cleverly swings.”
Toronto Music Report describes, “Verbrugge addresses each song with the breathtakingly, absolutely natural and unaffected purity of her voice… her material sounds magical. A rare perfect album.”