GRACE “GIGI” SMITHERMAN
Diva Grace “Gigi” Smitherman is becoming among contemporary music's most stylish and sultry vocalists; while often-bending R&B and Jazz in her performance - she has developed a unique vocal and writing style which mirror female artist as; Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughn and Phyllis Hyman. Grace has been named "Gigi” by her many fans, cause she always carries a beautiful handmade fan that won her the tag “The Lady With The Fan,” wherein her female admirers/fans are so uniquely named “Fanistas”!
Gigi was born in Georgetown, Georgia, on New Years Day and later growing up in Pennsylvania; she is a successful business owner who always had dreams of being a jazz singer. Gigi got her musical inspiration when she was growing up in Pennsylvania; her first memory of music was of Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee at the young age of 5 years. She started piano lessons at the age of 7 and often played for the church choirs.
"I think that I fell in love with music from those early recordings I heard as a child," she said, "and I tried singing them all."
Gigi lived in New Orleans for several years before being displaced due to Hurricane Katrina. Gigi first attracted notice performing the club circuit in New Orleans and quickly earned a growing reputation among jazz players and fans. Gigi currently resides in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has been a wife, mother, and a successful entrepreneur, now has turned her talents to performing as a jazz singer/song writer. The Lady With The Fan,” renowned for her work alongside renowned pianist Chester Daigle and jazz Violinist, Jairus Daigle -- further cemented her growing fame and reputation.
I love to tell the story of how I met Chester and Patricia Daigle at a restaurant where Chester was performing. I began singing casually with him then and have been involved with them ever since. I learned of their involvement in the community, working with children and how they managed all of these wonderful things through Jazz In The Arts. All of that coupled with my love of music, especially, jazz, I immersed myself with involvement with the notion of fostering creativity, helping to broaden the reach of the organization as well as building upon my vocal skills and to promote my own music career.
With her cool but sensual singing style, writing ability, and her fortuitously elegant looks, Gigi took the jazz community in Lake Charles by storm in the late 2012. Her writing style strikes fairly close to that tradition-mode of Jazz that captures the imagination of the listener. Gigi brings the audience a rich, full sound that posses varied registers that soothes, delights and seduces her listening audience. A fan recently commented of Gigi: “Smooth as fine wine, she graces the stage with style and glamour along with adding a little sass to her performance.”
The music chemistry, synergy and Sympatico with Chester, has developed and created styling’s that draw a broad sector of attention. Gigi has been able to absorb the richness of jazz refining her conceptual song styling that emerged through time focus and her personal feel for jazz. The Lady with the Fan is actively recording at the Daigle atelier and performing jazz vocals with the noted pianist Chester Daigle and jazz Violinist, Jairus Daigle.
Gigi’s music has found her involved in and taking her talents to the community in a myriad of public and private venues and has performed at Balls, picnics, weddings and the annual “Women of Jazz” Concerts in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Additionally, Gigi is the founder and owner of KJUS978fm.com, an on-line Gospel radio station where the focus is on supporting the unknown and untapped gospel artists.
Currently, Gigi performances each week at La Truffe Sauvage Restaurant; also she does live performance on Jazz festivals and showcases with Chester and Jairus. Gigi enjoys and has a deep love for singing and song writing, and she is contently creating new material for future releases.