Sony Holland sings in a style that is both sophisticated and emotionally direct. Her melodic interpretations of the Great American Songbook show a deep respect and love for the material while adding an unmistakable spark of personality.
Originally from northern Minnesota, Sony fell in love with jazz while spending a year in Paris and has earned a devoted following worldwide with her renditions of standards, contemporary and original songs. She has made California her home since 2003 although she now performs internationally, including extensive concert tours and residencies in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Her “Out Of This World” CD is an intimate set of 13 songs which she brings together with impeccable musicianship.
Despite her sunny good looks Sony is a performer who knows what it is to pay her dues. She started her career on the streets of Fisherman’s Wharf and sang there in the wind, cold and rain, through good times and bad. “None of the other street musicians thought I would last, but I was determined to make a living out there.” That means spending hours singing when few tourists are about, simply to guard one’s turf. She explains, “I never minded the hostile elements or the slow nights because I understood that you need to put the time in to get your voice strong.” “People would constantly ask me what I was doing out there. They don’t understand how few well-paying jazz venues there are and how expensive it is for an independent musician to travel with a band.”
Partially to deal with the expense of traveling she encouraged her songwriting husband to beef up his jazz chops on the guitar. Now they often perform together in concert venues and cafes as a duo. “Jerry has a simple rhythmic approach to playing that audiences really enjoy even if they’re not huge jazz fans.” While a staff songwriter in Nashville, Mr. Holland penned the #1 Billboard Country hit “Friends” recorded by Atlantic artist Jon Michael Montgomery. Now his jazz compositions add a freshness to Sony’s repertoire.
Ms. Holland has frequently donated her talents to benefit concerts for a variety of causes including AIDS relief, Leukemia research and more, for which she has appeared with diverse celebrities such as Rita Moreno, Latoya London, Tuck & Patti, Carole Cook, Mary Wilson, Petula Clark, Paul Williams and many more.