JazzTimes Magazine writes that Canadian jazz vocalist Angela Verbrugge "possesses a winsome, brightly burnished, pliable voice, with ample emotional intelligence, considerable songwriting skills, and conspicuously good taste.” Toronto Music Report described, “ a stunning debut album beautifully crafted arrangements in beguiling variety and sensuousness. Verbrugge addresses each with the breathtakingly, absolutely natural and unaffected purity of her voice… her material sound magical.”
Angela was invited to release her debut record in 2019 on New York-based Gut String Records with piano trio backing from three veterans of the NYC Jazz scene: Ray Gallon (Lionel Hampton, Joe Williams, Chaka Khan), Cameron Brown (former Jazz Messenger, Sheila Jordan regular voice-bass duo partner) and Anthony Pinciotti (Stacey Kent, Dr Lonnie Smith). The album debuted at number one in jazz on iTunes-Canada. Raul de Gama of Toronto Music Report describes, “ beautifully crafted arrangements in beguiling variety and sensuousness.” CBC Radio host Laila Biali described, "There's so much joy in her delivery.” 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 British Columbia in 1997. After having three kids (now 11, 13 and 15) and three brushes with death (drowning, car accident and cancer), she followed her passion to jazz cobbling together her jazz-specific musical education through self-study, mentorship from top Canadian and American vocalists and musicians, alongside an active local gig schedule in Vancouver and Victoria learning and adapting material on the bandstand.
Wall Street Journal-writer Will Friedwald notes 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 is primarily influenced by the swing era, pre-bop jazz, vintage musicals, and traditional pop music which originated in the 1920s to 1950s. Angela is a vocalist committed to what Tony Bennett calls “America’s classical music”, and backs up her collaboration with band members by having strong theory skills of having obtained a high level of certification in Royal Conservatory classical piano training, and mentor- and self-taught jazz theory skills. As a lyricist, her work has received critical acclaim, notably from critics in the United States. "Angela gives singers like Lorraine Feather a run for their money with her witty lyrics"(JazzWeekly). MusicWeb International reviewed her debut project, writing that, “Verbrugge is a literate and articulate songwriter astute arrangements and good balance between originals and standards,” raving that her album has a rare “bold, delineated structure”. Angela crafts each set list with the same care she did with her album, customizing her performances for each venue, and working to support the venue with promotions.
She has appeared at top jazz clubs in England, Germany, and Turkey, across Canada (Yardbird, the Rex, GigSpace, Alvin’s Jazz Club) and in BC at the Victoria Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Frankie’s Jazz Club, Hermann’s, and other prestigious venues and festivals. Her recordings have received critical acclaim from radio and podcast hosts across the globe, receiving airplay by popular stations in Canada, the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia. The 2019 album charted on Earshot in Canada and Jazzweek in the United States. George Harris at Jazz Weekly sums it up, describing, ","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."
Here are some ladies that not only sing, but compose and arrange as well. Angela Verbrugge gives singers like Lorraine Feather a run for their money with her witty lyrics on her originals that area mixed with some clever covers.