Out Artists on the Rise

photo by michael black | BLACK SUN
Michelle Carr
Chanteuse and songwriter Michelle Carr offers a diverse array of styles that demonstrate a lifetime of training. Her warm, bronze vocal tone moves effortlessly between classical, jazz and R&B rhythms that are colorfully exhibited on her 2005 debut Change.

Before becoming a local favorite in the jazz circuit, the Alto Loma, Calif. native successfully completed her classical voice studies at The Julliard School. The singer later put her vocal breadth to use when landing parts in Tony Award-garnering theatre productions Showboat and The Man of La Mancha. Carr returned to New York to work on her solo career, eventually earning residency at the coveted Blue Note club in the Village.

Carr’s self-produced debut, Change, includes her original songs as well as a popular cover of Ani DiFranco’s “32 Flavors.” The independent artist has denied solicitations from major record labels, opting to mirror the “do it yourself” credo akin to DiFranco. This path ultimately proved successful, when she landed a semi-finalist position in the 2006 ASCAP International Songwriting Competition.

Carr feels that her status as an out lesbian musician has only rewarded her with embracing fans and a bigger queer presence at her shows. “It’s welcoming and feels like coming home a bit,” she says. “I feel more comfortable, happier, and more connected with myself.”

Fans can look forward to a new album to be released in 2008 with accompanying tour dates in New York and California. Check cdbaby.com/mcarr for more details. –PC