With her uplifting mix of early jazz, swing, roots, and 50s pop, Beth Portman brightens the greyest of skies. A dynamic vocalist, ukulele player and songwriter; Beth expands her solo performances by incorporating layers of harmonies and percussion recorded live and pre-recorded on her looper station (neatly stored in a picnic basket). She builds beat tracks using items such as suitcases, hat boxes, beaded purses and even her red shoes, transforming her vintage-vibe sound into a one-of-a-kind experience that’s playful, fresh and in the moment.
Beth first fell in love with early to mid-20th century music listening to the jazz soundtracks of the cartoons and movie musicals of the 1930s and 1940s. A classically trained animator, she created two animated short films—Cactus Swing and Fair Phyllis—for the National Film Board of Canada. Beth was part of the acclaimed world music a cappella group Juba (1988-1998) which performed in festivals and soft seat venues across Canada and released four albums. As a solo artist she has recorded two albums, Lovin’ and Take a Trip, shaping the latter into a train-themed concert with her band, The Good Find.
During the pandemic, Beth developed an outdoor concert, Under the Blue Skies, and took it to festivals, community events and private parties. This picnic-themed presentation helped nurture the development of her latest solo album, Great Great Day, coming out Spring 2022. It harkens back to simpler times, capturing the carefree joy of summer. The album’s sound took shape during a unique year-long 2021 pandemic project: 52 music videos (a new one each Friday) for her BethPortmanSings YouTube. She handled every aspect of production, from set design to performance to video editing. These weekly song projects inspired Portman to explore new ways of arranging her original songs and the covers she loves to sing. She continues to deliver songs and smiles (but now every two weeks) on BethPortmanSings. bethportman.com
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