Janiece grew up in a musical family. Her mother was a pre~school teacher and an opera singer and her father was a professor of music and a classical musician. As a child her parents facilitated 'Opera Nights' where singing was the mode of conversation at the dinner table!
After having 4 children of her own and working as a Preschool teacher for over 15 years, Janiece felt she would regret her life if she did not commit to her passion of singing. The call was loud, so she shifted gears and auditioned for the Jazz Department at the Indiana University School of Music. Six years later, after working with distinguished professors David Baker and Dominic Spera, Janiece received her B.A. in Vocal Jazz Performance from the Individualized Major Program. She also attended Janis Borla and Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps, and studied improvisation with Janet Lawson. Janiece was employed as a voice teacher at Indiana University from 1991 to 1996. She has been teaching voice in her private studio since 1996, and admits it is one of her greatest joys.
In the late 90's Janiece met and collaborated with jazz pianist Simon Rowe and became an Assistant Producer for his company, Catalyst Productions. The company recorded artists out of St. Louis and Kansas City for several years. Janiece’s Heart's Desire album is recorded with the Simon Rowe trio.
Janiece does more than teach and produce; she pursues a rewarding career as a vocalist. She has sung in big bands, quintets, quartets, trios, and orchestras singing standards, bossa nova, bebop, and scat. She also enjoys singing back up for Motown, Soul and Reggae gigs.
During her career Janiece has written lyrics to the music of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Freddie Hubbard. She has also been a lyricist with composers Marcos Cavalcante (CD:Standing on the Edge), Monika Herzig, David Ward Steinman and Curtis Cantwell Jackson. Janiece has recorded 10 albums, and can be heard as a guest vocalist in more than 20 other recordings.
Janiece became a member of the Soka Gakkai International at age 16, committing to a Buddhist daily practice of chanting. Janiece claims that using her voice everyday in this way has benefited her spiritually and deepened her vocal awareness and abilities.
After becoming a Reiki Master (energy healing) Practitioner in 1999 Janiece began hearing and toning the energy she was working with; and became interested in sound as a conduit for healing. She devoured books on the subject of sound healing, and took workshops from Jonathan Goldman, Tom Kenyon, John Beaulieu, Zacciah Blackburn and others. In 2002 she started working with Crystal bowls at the Loving Heart center in Bloomington, Indiana with Syndee Earthheart. Janiece continued her sound healing practice and went on to create 3 meditation CDs: The Lotus and the Rose, Heartones, and Fire in the Lotus. She has also produced companion music for the book The Atlantean Legacy by Paula Bates with harpist Amy Camie from St. Louis, MO. They were joined by Kim Taylor from Loouisville, KY on Lemurian/Atlantean voice overs. She also has collaborated with Amy Camie in St. Louis on Soundscape Concerts, one of which was produced as a CD called Beyond Words Into the Soul. Look for more amazing collaborative efforts from these two!
the mid '90's, Janiece saw Bobby McFerrin in Indianapolis and ended up on stage
singing a voicestra with 7 others from the audience. He was so inspiring
that around a decade later, Janiece made sure to sign up for his workshop at
Omega in upper state New York. She studied three summers with him, opening her
voice to infinite possibilities. Since then Janiece has been taking workshops
with Rhiannon, a master vocal improvisational teacher who has been instrumental
in expanding Janiece’s ideas on teaching, performing, and giving vocal
workshops. She is currently (2012) a co~pilot for Rhiannon's "All the Way IN'" vocal improvisational year long workshop.
Janiece lives in Bloomington, IN and travels regionally with her crystal and Tibetan bowls to offer 'sound meditations'; enjoys teaching in her home studio, gives workshops in Circle Singing, Improvisation, The Voice as a Healing Instrument and Merkaba Meditations. She loves to sing all kinds of music professionally and takes care of herself well through dancing, jumping on her trampoline and eating mostly raw organic food!
"The voice does the Buddha's work." (Nichiren Daishonin)
I've been thinking about that quote since I heard it in the late '70's, and so have paid close scrutiny to the voice. I am continually awed at how it works and how wonderfully varied and unique our voices are!
“BLESS~SINGS and LOVE
to all who enter!”
P.S. I made it in to the 'Jazz Singers' by Scott Yanow! check it out in your local book store!