“Ms. Du Graf is a spoonful of the outstanding talent coming out of the Pacific Northwest,” raved Wynton Marsalis after awarding Isabella the Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Vocalist Award at the 2006 Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival hosted at the Lincoln Center.
Whether you are looking for an intimate performance for you and a few of your friends, or a five-piece band for your wedding, we can accommodate your needs! From jazz to R&B, we can cover your musical interests (and yes, we take requests!). We also have state of the art equipment we can provide for you in order to make your musical experience with us as professional as it is worthwhile.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 30 - 240 minutes
What to Expect
I have performed from audiences as small as five, to as large as 40,000 people. No matter how large an audience, my goal is for you to be captivated and happy with your choice of live music. I love what I do, and I think the music speaks for itself. I promise that the performance with be a memorable one. References available upon request.
It was an older sister’s winning performance at the 2001 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival that ignited a profound passion in a then-prepubescent Isabella Du Graf for what could have been considered an uncharacteristic choice of music for someone her age.
“She was inspired…she decided she wanted to do it,” recalls Seattle-based designer-business owner and mom, Esther Du, of that fateful moment when her 12-year-old daughter boldly began her quest for creative fulfillment as a jazz artist.
Isabella’s interest in music was evident even in her early years: she started piano lessons at five, picked up the clarinet, played saxophone and sang in the school choir. But that pivotal moment when sister Lauren Du Graf won the “Best Soloist” award focused Isabella and set her on a widening path of artistic growth and recognition.
She started singing with her school’s jazz band, and jumped at every opportunity to practise and perform. At 14, she recorded her first album, “Blame It on My Youth.” At 16, she won the jazz vocalist competition hosted by the Seattle Kobe Sister City Association, earning her a trip to Kobe, Japan where she performed with Minoru Ozone, an esteemed and popular Japanese television organist and jazz club owner, at the Kobe Jazz Centennial Celebration. That same year, Isabella was a featured singer in a musical production that saw her sharing the stage with 10-time Grammy Award winner and virtuoso American vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, best known for his 1988 hit song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
Then came September 2005, memorable for the best Alto jazz vocalist award won by Isabella during the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival – a feat that duplicated older sister Lauren’s four years before! Isabella was featured on the cover of the monthly Earshot Jazz magazine which raved, "Du Graf has the chops and soulful confidence to win over even the most exacting and critical audiences."
The year 2006 confirmed Isabella’s standing as an artist of note. At the 2006 Essentially Jazz Competition held at New York City’s Lincoln Center, she won the Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Vocalist Award for her “soulful” rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Rocks in My Bed.” “Ms. Du Graf is a spoonful of the outstanding talents coming out of the Pacific Northwest,” said Wynton Marsalis, Lincoln Center’s Artistic Director of Jazz and another Grammy Award recipient. By then a high school senior, Isabella was recognized by Downbeatmagazine, a prestigious national magazine devoted to “jazz, blues and beyond,” as the Outstanding High School Jazz Vocalist Student Music Award winner. She garnered the same award the following year, this time at the College level.
And in an appearance that introduced her to an audience of over 40,000 Seattle football fans, Isabella performed the US national anthem at the Qwest Field Stadium before an NFL Seahawks-LA Raiders game, in the process chalking up another milestone experience.
Isabella recorded her second album, “Live at Egan’s,” in 2007 and is currently working on her third album of original compositions. She recently finished her Bachelor’s Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, with a major in Jazz Performance, and has returned to Seattle where she resides.
Additional Booking Notes
State of the art soundsystem (available upon request). My bandmates bring their own equipment as well.
Jazz, Brazilian, Bossa Nova, R&B, Soul, Funk...
|Isabella Du Graf||Vocalist & Band Leader|
Influences & Inspiration
Anyone from the jazz legends: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, Chris Connor...to Brazilian classics: Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz...to modern day soul: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Esperanza Spalding, Raphael Saadiq (just to name a few)
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