Guitar, Voice, & Banjo
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Esther Haynes is a versatile vocalist and rhythm guitarist residing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Her styles range from vintage jazz to swing, blues, bossas, folk, and bluegrass. Since 2002, she has been nominated for several Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies) for Debut Recording, Jazz Vocalist, Big Band Vocalist, and Jazz Duo/Group. She has received eight Wammie awards for Big Band/Swing Vocalist (in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008) and Jazz Vocalist (in 2004, 2005, and 2008).
In 2001, she recorded her debut CD, entitled Esther Haynes, of vintage vocal tunes in tribute early jazz singers such as Alberta Hunter, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Lil Green, Ella Fitzgerald, and Memphis Minnie. The CD received favorable local and online press, as well as airplay on Rob Bamberger's "Hot Jazz Saturday Night" (WAMU) and Mary Cliff's "Traditions" program (WETA). In 2004, Esther released her second CD, Approach Note, and in 2013, she released her third CD, Moon Country, a tribute to her Tennessee-born father and her Southern ancestry.
Originally from Virginia, Esther learned folk guitar and bluegrass banjo as a girl. She spent her college years at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she attended fiddlers' conventions, played banjo and guitar, and sang in duets at local events. Later she began studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating with honors with a diploma in voice and professional music. In Boston, she was part of a bluegrass/swing group, Boston City Limits, with Hiro Arita, Howie Tarnower, and Matt Glaser. She also played in a duo with ragtime guitarist Larry Unger. She has recorded with guitarist John Dirac of Boston's Either Orchestra. She also spent two years in Israel (1991 to 1993), where she sang in a quartet with guitarist David Matarasso and in the Southern Comfort Duo.
In the future, she hopes to continue to record, and wants to travel abroad with her music. More at estherhaynesmusic.com
Esther Haynes at La Porta Restaurant
Esther and Middle C teacher John Linn performing "Don't Neglect the Rose".
Esther Haynes plays "Sailboat in the Moonlight," a song popularized by Kate Smith and Billie Holliday.