The first thing you notice is that voice: gorgeous, graceful, and somehow earthy and ethereal at once. It is an instrument perfectly matched to the songwriting talents of the artist who channels it — Halie Loren. Her music conveys the wonders of the invisible world: wounded defiance, stubborn love, hard-earned hopefulness.
Forged in the hyperborean beauty of a remote Alaskan island, Loren's gift for capturing the playfulness, pizazz, vulnerability, and sensuality inherent in a classic lyric appeared early on. But it was her talent for turning those feelings into genre-defying original compositions — songs at once universal and deeply personal — that first drew the attention of the wider musical world. In 2000, Loren earned three first place songwriting awards in three different categories. In 2005 and 2006, she won consecutive first place honors in the Pacific Songwriting Competition, first in the country classification, and the following year in spiritual/inspirational.
How, then, to classify her? A singer of rare sensitivity, she brings a fresh perspective to musical paths that have been traveled many times before. But it is her innate understanding of connectedness across musical boundaries that electrifies listeners and delights audiences around the world.
Her debut jazz CD, 2008's They Oughta Write a Song, won the JPF award for Best Vocal Jazz Album, and by 2010 the world had opened up to her. Distributed in Asia by JVC/Victor Entertainment, it became Japan's No. 2-selling jazz recording of the year.
She followed with a live CD, Stages, which CD Baby made an Editor's Pick, and Wildy's World called the best live album of the year. Months later, Wildy's World selected her next album, After Dark, as one of 2010's top three independent albums and named her their Artist of the Year. "Thirsty," one of two Loren originals on After Dark, won the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop poll for best jazz song of 2011.
Released in Asia in late 2011, Loren's current CD, Heart First, reveals a confidently maturing artist in its savvy concoction of jazz standards, re-imagined pop classics, and shimmering new originals. Jazz Critique magazine honored it as the best vocal jazz album of 2011. Fly Me to the Moon, the album's first single, reached No. 1 on the iTunes Japan jazz chart, joining more than 50 Loren recordings that have spent time in Japan's top 100.
Upon its 2012 North American release through Justin Time Records, Heart First joined the top 10 bestselling jazz CDs in Hot New Releases at Amazon U.S. and Amazon Canada, and quickly shot to the No. 1 position in jazz on iTunes Canada.
In the past year, Loren headlined concerts with the Jazz Orchestra of Sicily and the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra, and her busy touring schedule has taken her to Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Listen to Halie Loren's artistry flowering in the months and years to come, and you will hear the sound of time-tested music opening to new possibilities.