Isabel Stover

How The Time Passes


Much. Time. Passed...Since I wrote my last blog entry. No matter, things have been a mite busy for me these past few years. Amidst the craziness of life with two tween/teen kids, single motherhood has forced me to hone my focus and time management skills to a fine pointed razor, cutting right to the core of "What Am I Doing With My Life?!"

Needless to say, I've become even more passionate about my music, more dedicated and oh, so productive. Having just completed my 211th (!!!) show since beginning on this musical journey I feel so blessed and proud - This is NOT to toot my own horn at my own awesomeness but simply to share my joy because, "I'm doing what I love! I'm doing what I love! I'm doing what I love!" can I make this thing that I love work? Because it's not just about how many performances I can have under my belt. It's about how can I make this even more meaningful, and yes, finally, how can I sustain myself doing this?

Let's break it down: First the creative part. I am already getting a great deal of joy and satisfaction out of performing, and I really connect with people through my music. But a new Album recording is definitely on order for the near future to give me a fresh project to focus on, and a new platform with which to show who I am within the broader Jazz community. It's time - WAY past time. So, more to come on that in the not too distant future...

A few years ago I discovered that I love teaching kids about Blues and Jazz. I started doing short, 30 min workshops in my kid's elementary school, with the help of the music teacher, then I did it at another school, etc. Slowly it has turned into a full-blown educational/performance presentation that will be provided as part of the Arts & Sciences enrichment offerings, here in my school district, and then hopefully, to other districts. I have so much fun teaching the kids something they wouldn't otherwise learn in their current school curriculum, and showing the kids what I do brings me so much satisfaction because it merges two sides of me; the Jazz singer and the Mom. It's a good thing all around.

In addition, I have been keeping myself quite busy during the day doing more and more performances for the elderly in various types of facilities, from Independent Living to Alzheimers Units, and even to Public Assisted Housing Facilities. I even did a show to a group of Holocaust survivors, which was one of the most warm and memorable performances I can remember, not to mention an honor. Singing for seniors brings so much mutual reward, as the audience shares personal stories and memories of my songs, some of which are quite interesting! The best part is seeing some of the vacant, expressionless faces come alive as they recollect, and begin to mouth the words and sway their bodies or tap their feet. Of all the experiences I've had while performing, there is no greater joy than helping someone dance in their wheelchair. 

So, as my son's school principal so eloquently put it, I really do have three important avenues with which to provide value through my music; The Entertainment value, through creating music and performing, the Educational value through the school program I am developing and the Therapeutic value I bring to performing for the elderly. This assures me that I CAN make this work, and I have every intention to. I am following my path, and picking up rose petals along the way.

Thanks for reading

Fall Frenzy


As my performance dates seem to be multiplying like bunnies you'll need to hold on tight and fasten your seatbelts as we're in for a bit of a ride this Fall. I'll be hitting several of my regular spots, such as the elegant Les Zygomates in downtown Boston and cool and casual Tosca in Hingham, as well as taking the band up North again to the Vermont/New Hampshire Upper Valley to play at Canoe Club in Hanover as well as The Lyme Inn. My presence here in the New England Jazz scene seems to be solidifying as I continue to make more and more connections with venue owners, booking agents, fellow musicians and last but not least, my emerging fan base, who out of everyone are the ones I owe much to. Gratitude moment!

I will have had the pleasure of performing at three Music Festivals this summer, starting with the Jamaica Plain Porchfest, The New Haven Jazz Festival and this weekend's Newton Jazz Festival. Details on that below in my schedule of events.

50 Gigs And Counting!


After starting to perform with my trio in April 2014 I have had 56 gigs to date and counting. Many musicians play much more than that, but for me this number is astounding because it means I am finally living my passion, and very grateful...I'm on a roll and there is much more in store...

I am also extremely pleased to be a part of the highly rated t.v. show, This is The Nightlife With Dale LePage, which has received over 800,000 viewers so far!

Beauty and Wonder


For those not living near me in Boston it is difficult to convey how treacherous and unprecidented the snowfall has been this winter. We are well past the denial phase, having accepted our new way of life tunneling around town between mountains of brown icebergs. Yet, here at the beginning of March (March is always a tease) it seems unbelievable there might still be snow up in the heavens left to fall, yet snowflakes fill the air even as I write this. There is seemingly no beauty left in the sparkling crystals; they just add one more layer to the ice walls defining our very existence.

This enormous amount of snow continues to wreak havoc on buildings and municipal systems, but amidst the calamity there have been moments of beauty and wonder in this '"Snowmageddon 2015". The natural process of melting/freezing/melting creates a wonderland of icicles, many of which have stopped me dead in my tracks.

I may be among a privelidged few who witnessed the sight pictured above: I was driving along the road near my family home up in rural Vermont when I came across what appeared to be a leak in some sort of underground pipe, which obviously contained hot water. The water was spurting out of the top and spraying down, creating layers upon layers of ice as it froze in the cold air. The whole sight, along with the antique farm equipment struck me as surreal, particularly since no one was anywhere nearby to see it with me. There was not a single person on the road, nor at the homes nearby. No one was with me to witness this incredible, awe-inspiring improvised ice sculpture. It could have been a tourist attraction. It should have been covered with kids playing on the snow-covered mound, breaking off chips of the ice which had formed frozen waves of beauty, capturing the gleaming sunset. But there was not even one footprint disturbing the perfect, natural layers of snow and ice, and so on and on it continued, with just a couple of small spurts of water visible at the top. I was the only one I know who got to see this amazing sight, and it will be one that I always remember from this winter. I am grateful.

A Happy New Year To Be Grateful For


A new year and so much synchronicity already.  Things just feel like they are clicking. I am feeling excited for this year ahead, but mostly grateful for all the musicians in my life who have become true friends.  It feels so good to be a part of such a cool group of creative folks who share something so dear to us all.

WICN Annual Holiday Show


WICN had their 10th annual Holiday Show this past December and I was in the lineup!  I felt quite special indeed to be among the extremely talented group of singers and musicians who all came down to the studios for this festive event.  The studio audience was made up of fellow performers as well as WICN supporters and staff who listened to each of our renditions of holiday favorites as it was broadcast across the airwaves.  What a fun experience!

Back To My Roots


After the hardest and most stressful drive getting to a gig due to unheard of traffic between Boston and New Haven, Derek and I arrived at Cafe Nine frazzled and dazed but excited to play in our home town for friends and family.  The rest of the band arrived even later, so the whole evening begun super late.  This meant that much of that audience needed to leave before we were finished, unfortunately. However, many positive things came out of the evening - a chance to play for a hometown crowd, some great photos taken by Audra Napolitano and a late-night binge fest at Mammoun's with the band - all priceless and well worth the travel hassle.

Interview With Tyra Penn of WCUW's Big Jazz Umbrella


I did not know what to expect arriving late at night at WCUW's Worcester, MA studios, but I was welcomed by WCUW's Big Jazz Umbrella host Tyra Penn. We had a lovely chat on the air about my CD, Her Own Sweet World and about ME in general; my music, my migration back East from California, how I became a jazz singer, my children.  It really was a wonderful and relaxing interview. 

Exciting October Ahead!


This month is going to full of events and performances - I've another live radio interview on WCUW with Tyra Penn, lots of local gigs, plus a special performance up North in Hanover, New Hampshire.  In addition, this month I'll have the pleasure of performing with several other talented musicians, such as Boston Flugelhorn player, Lance Houston both within my own trio and as a guest performer myself at their own residencies.  The Lance Houston Quartet plays at The Battery Lounge at The Fairmount Hotel Battery Wharf.  It is a beautiful venue, and I am particularly excited to perform there.

Last Week's Radio Show and Interview on WICN


Last week I drove down to WICN's Worcester studios along with bassist, Derek Van Wormer and guitar player, Christopher Brown to perform on Live Jazz New England, hosted by Pamela Hines. It was my first live performance on the radio (!) and in addition, my very first radio interview. Needless to say, I was super excited. Of course I had fun performing in front of the "studio audience", consisting of two people, but I knew that thousands of others were listening avidly :) As with any live performance there were issues to be dealt with, and it was reassuring to know that even the professionals have technical troubles...The studio had trouble getting the sound balanced and as a result, my vocals were quite loud through the broadcast, although we couldn't hear them at all in the studio. After some time, they got it figured out and it was all smooth sailing.  The end result sounded excellent, and of course the listeners couldn't tell the difference. In addition, I got to do the interview with my friend Pamela - All in all, it was a perfect first time on radio!

I'm gonna be on the radio!


First Ever Radio Show and Interview on WICN, 90.5 FM!!!! Wednesday, Sept. 24th 2-3pm

My friend and accomplished pianist Pamela Hines asked me to be a featured guest on her monthly radio show, Live Jazz New England on WICN 90.5 FM. I have to say I am super excited for my first radio show AND interview! My trio and I will be performing live from the Worcester studios. Joining me will be Derek Van Wormer on Bass and Christopher Brown on Guitar. We will be playing some of our current favorites, and Pamela will ask me a question or two during the set, so be sure and tune in to 90.5 FM or go to to stream live!

A Sweet Email from Curt Moore, Bay Area Drummer


An email I recently received from Curt Moore the drummer on my CD, Her Own Sweet World.  He was visiting San Diego for the weekend:

...I am listening to 88.3 the jazz station here, and on comes this tune. I am listening to it and thinking, hmmmm this sounds really nice, hmmmm, this sounds familiar, hmmmmm, this sounds like me?, hmmmm, hey I am on this, hmmmmmm, whoa it is me, hmmmmm, it is Isabel's CD for darn sake! Man nice recording you guys, Stephanie, and to Isabel. Great arrangement and singing. The vibe of the tune "feelin' good" BTW is very cool. 

So just wanted to share that with you. On a totally selfish note it is great to breeze into a different town and hear yourself on the hip Jazz station out of the blue.

be well you guys

Curt Moore

Estill Voice Workshop


I just finished a week long Estill Voice Training, Level 1 and 2: Voice Control and Figure Combinations for Six Voice Qualities (Falsetto, Sob, Nasalized Twang, Oral Twang, Opera, and Belting). For those who always wanted to know how to belt but never could: It is a simple matter of using a smooth or glottal onset in your true vocal folds, a retracted false vocal fold, a thick true vocal fold body-cover, holding your thyroid in a vertical position, tilting your cricoid cartilage, narrowing your aryepiglottic sphincter, using a high larynx tongue and vellum, a mid jaw and lips and an anchored head, neck and torso...Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

'The Island' is a July finalist on WooTube


A video of one of me singing one of my songs, The Island at a performance at The Acton Jazz Cafe was chosen as a finalist in the July episode of WooTube.  WooTube is a popular Charter TV show focussing on all of central New England. The show features music and comedy videos from around the area, interviews with club, restaurant and venue owners, and local news on what's happening! The show is hosted by singer Dale LaPage and DJ Roberta Mandella. To see the video: WooTube is at:

A Very Cool Review


Who could ask for a more solid review of a debut CD?  This was from Doug Boynton of's blog, entitled, Girl Singers. Embedded within the review is a really cool video clip of Nat King Cole singing one of the tunes on my CD, Never Let Me Go from the movie, The Scarlet Hour.  Super cool, if you ask me :)

I'm in the Top 40!


Her Own Sweet World debuts at #34 on CMJ Jazz Top 40!

Her Own Sweet World just entered the CMJ Jazz Top 40 Chart at #34!!!  No small feat getting on this chart, and not too shabby, either!

CD Promo Success!


Kari Gaffney of Kari-On Productions is working it: My CD, Her Own Sweet World was listed as #1, that's NUMBER ONE on the CMJ Adds Charts last week!!!! CMJ is a chart name - just like Billboard only they specialize in non-comm radio (NPR, Community & College). What the Top Jazz Adds Chart is - each station has a Top 5 Adds Chart for new releases each week - I made it on the most Top 5 Station Adds Charts so I made the overall Top 5 Jazz Adds Chart. Woooot!

Isabel Stover Trio is In The House


I am so excited to be working with the very talented Derek Van Wormer on the Bass, and Christopher Brown on guitar.  Together, we are the Isabel Stover Trio.  The combo of upright bass, voice and guitar is smooth and intimate - I'm loving this sound!  We've got lots of gigs scheduled for this summer and it's going to be a busy one!  Stay tuned...

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