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Published on Sep 7, 2015
Seattle veteran jazz and blues singer (and bandleader) Maia Santell and her backup band House Blend are a mainstay in the Northwest music scene. Her swingin', soulful style, and clear, warm, unaffected vocal quality, characteristic of the jazz and blues vocalists of the 40's, has deemed her the title, "The Pacific Northwest Queen of Swing!" With a dedicated audience following of jazz, blues and swing aficionados, swing and ballroom dancers alike, Maia and her band put on an energetic show that appeals to all ages, and whose musical repertoire consists of jazz, standards, blues, Latin, R&B, big band and contemporary favorites. Some of the leading venues they have performed for include The New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Seattle's Pioneer Square, The Commencement Bay Jazz Festival, Ste. Michelle Wineries, Argosy Cruises, Jazzbones, USA Ballroom Dances, Mt. Rainier Concert Series, Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival, Gray Sky Blues Festival, CI Shenanigans, Johnny's Dock, Studio 6 Ballroom, NW Dance Network (Northwest Dance Network), Pacific Ballroom Dance, Tall Ships Tacoma 2005, USA Ballroom Dance, Highway 99 Blues, Muckleshoot Casino, The Jazz Alley, San Juan Festival of the Arts, Olympic Peninsula Dance, The Brickyard Bar & Grill, The Spar, The Swiss Pub and Bumbershoot, among many others. Maia is a descendant of Seattle's Jackson Street era of jazz and swing. Her mother, father and uncle (Frank Sugia) were prominent musicians for over thirty years, and performed with such notables as Gaylord Jones (a.k.a. Gay Jones), Norm Hoagy, Joe Venuti, Wyatt Howard, Curt Sykes, Jackie Souders, Don Anderson, Buddy Catlett, Red Kelly, to name a few. Doug Bright of Seattle's Heritage Music Review says, "Maia Santell is one of the Northwest's most dynamic and refreshingly believable vocalists. Her phrasing is impeccable, and her voice is clear, warm, natural and free of the contrived theatricality that besets many of her local contemporaries. Supported by the seasoned musicians of House Blend, she offers one of the most brilliant sounds in the Northwest music scene." Deanne Rossetti of Seattle Magazine says, "Maia Santell is capable of delivering a wide range of musical styles with a polish and joy that comes from talent, experience and a deep-seated love of music." Norm Bobrow, Seattle music critic, promoter and jazz entrepreneur says, "Maia Santell is an absolute delight! She is a seasoned pro who deserves to be recognized as one of the finest, most versatile and talented singers in the Seattle music scene. She is simply super!" (For more, including sound bites, photos and updated performances, see: MaiaSantell.com )