Fawn Fritzen: vocals
Dave Restivo: piano
John Lee: bass
Kelby MacNayr: drums
Doug Stephenson: bass (3, 6, 8)
Tony Ferraro: drums (3, 6, 8)
Melody Diachun and Laura Landsberg: background vocals (6, 8)
Jazz vocalist Fawn Fritzen embodies Canada’s diversity with her mixed cultural roots of Chinese, French, and German, singing in her three ancestral languages as well as English. Raised on folk, classical, and musical theatre, Fawn was a latecomer to jazz, but the bug bit her hard. She quickly garnered accolades. Tim Tamashiro (former host of CBC Radio’s national jazz program Tonic) named Fawn “one of Canada’s top swingers.” In 2014, Fawn won the Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Jazz Artists.
The end of her marriage in 2015 spurred a period of deep reflection that changed the direction of her music. She grappled with the forces that had shaped her life decisions: perfectionism, Catholicism, and anxiety, among others. #MeToo further strengthened her sense of responsibility to give voice to real human stories. Music plays a crucial role in shaping society, and she felt compelled to write music about issues that matter.
Baring one’s soul is an extraordinarily vulnerable experience. Exposing a fully human character, with all its valour and flaws, can yield painful backlash or life-altering freedom. Fawn Fritzen’s How to Say Sorry and Other Lessons describes her path to self-actualization. A collection of material this raw can feel perilous to share, and yet, in her own words — “these songs deserve a life of their own.”
After releasing Pairings in 2016, her life was in chaos. Her marriage had fallen apart, she was in therapy, and she filled journals with grief, shame, and reflection on where things went wrong. As Fritzen reckoned with her irrevocably altered future, she found footing in strong convictions— about consent, conflict, compassion—and the profundity of writing these contemplations in her own words.
In early 2018, Duncan Sinclair approached Fritzen about being a featured performer in Jazz Yukon’s “Jazz in the Hall” series, which challenges artists to create new collaborations and performances. This invitation became the catalyst for creating “How to Say Sorry and Other Lessons”.
Co-written with pianist/composer/life-partner David Restivo, the music encompasses swing, funk, pop, gospel, and even a touch of reggae. It is just as varied in its sentiment and depth. From the poignancy of unforeseen heartbreak (Bittersweet Goodbye) to a battle cry for female emancipation (Make a Little Noise), the result is a beautiful extended metaphor for rebuilding a life after loss. Fritzen aims to create not just a body of music, but also an event that honestly examines emotions and inspires conversation. The stories build in intensity as she progresses, culminating at her lowest point, where she felt the deepest self-loathing, and climaxing at her most empowered.
Release Date: Friday, August 21st on Chronograph Records