Jessica Lalonde has spent her life exploring music in all its shades and facets. Raised on Country and Rock & Roll, she fell for jazz during her formative years. Lalonde began singing around her hometown of Midland in small jazz duos and trios, and for her local Big Band. Eventually the clarity and strength of her voice led her into serious vocal study and she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University. She excelled in her studies, winning a performance scholarship, several prestigious concerto competitions, and holding the title roles in the University’s opera productions. A very pivotal moment for Lalonde was when she discovered Billie Holiday. “I literally became obsessed with her and then my musical voyage emerged from there,” she says. She also immersed herself in the music of other dynamic female artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, Helen Forrest and Nina Simone.
After graduating she recorded a solo album of jazz and big band hits produced by jazz veteran Bill King. The album Spinning Daydreams, features some of Canada’s finest and most sought after musicians including Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, kd lang, Cassandra Wilson), Davide DiRenzo (Jacksoul, Sophie Milman, Tomi Swick), Duncan Hopkins (Diana Krall, Mark Murphy, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass) and Ann Lindsay (Blue Rodeo, Dionne Warwick, The Chieftans).
Following the production and touring of this project, Lalonde continued to explore and hone her instrument by delving into Bel canto singing under the guidance of Metropolitan soprano Aprile Millo, and in 2015 she had the privilege of performing in Italy alongside Ms. Millo for a series of concerts benefitting the Museo and Comittato Renata Tebaldi, the Amici delle case di Puccini, and Villa Verdi. While there, she was also honoured to work with legendary Conductor Maestro Richard Bonynge.