Jane Monheit doesn't follow musical
or financial fads
Jazz and pop chanteuse Jane Monheit may be only
26 years old, but she has a style and flair reminiscent of a classic
Vargas pinup from the '40s. Her glamorous appearance and lush voice
put to shame the post-teen idols of her generation. Monheit's take
on swing, jazz, retro love songs and MGM movie soundtracks have won
her a following spanning the generations.
A product of a New York family of musicians, including
a bluegrass picker and a hard rocker, Monheit attended the Manhattan
School of Music. She first made a career splash at the 1998 Thelonious
Monk competition, winning second place for her jazz vocals. Her
debut solo album with an indie label, "Never Never Land,"
garnered more awards and remained on the Billboard charts for over
a year. In addition, Monheit has recorded "Come Dream with
Me," "In the Sun," and her latest album, under Sony
Classical's guidance, "Taking a Chance on Love." Monheit
has also contributed cameo appearances on "In Full Swing"
and "Let's Get Lost," and her version of "Over The
Rainbow" is on the film soundtrack of "Sky Captain and
the World of Tomorrow."
At venues and jazz fests around the world, she often
performs with her husband, Rick Montalbano, who is a drummer.
Bankrate: What are your latest projects?
Jane Monheit: I just came out with a new CD,
"Taking a Chance on Love." It's romantic jazz, influenced
by all the great MGM movie musicals. My parents used to have me
watch them all the time! They're wonderful.
Bankrate: You come from a family of musicians
in every genre. Did they try to steer you in any particular direction
as being more practical than others?
Jane Monheit: Never! In my house, you studied
everything. No one genre was above another. My parents aren't professional
musicians. They're good enough that they could be, my mom sings
with several choirs. My parents weren't stage parents.
Bankrate: Have you ever held a nonmusical job?
Jane Monheit: Never! No flipping burgers at
McDonald's for me.
Bankrate: Did you ever give lessons on the
Jane Monheit: No, but I've been asked. I always
felt I was too young to be giving advice. It was before college!
I might someday, when I'm old. I'll be the little neighborhood singing
Bankrate: Is it hard to work on your art and
keep an eye on the business side of your career at the same time?
Jane Monheit: Actually, no. We love the music
side, that's our art. The business side is interesting, all the
little relationships and political things. I like to keep an eye