Vocalist, pianist and arranger Sheri Weldon began her musical journey by listening to Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and the music of the big bands. Through her father, she soon discovered bebop and later the innovators of the post-bop era, such as Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Charles Mingus.

Weldon’s new album Shorty & The Giants is an ode to that bebop tradition, with numbers from Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie as well as the cool jazz sound of the 1960s.

Arriving on the Toronto music scene via Collingwood, Ont., Weldon is a talented improviser with a voice that’s rich and warm in tone. On Shorty & The Giants, Weldon is joined by a talented band comprising woodwind player John MacMurchy, pianist Mark Eisenman, bassist Pat Collins and drummer Daniel Barnes.

For the New Music Spotlight, Weldon joined us to talk about the new album and her musical influences.