Volume 92, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 5, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Opera workshop lets fat lady run loose in Talbot theatre

Good things come to Pelleys who wait

Sebadoh changes recipe

The Don of Touch and Go

Celebrity Sighting


Good things come to Pelleys who wait

Photo Jackie Noble

By Sara Martel
Gazette Staff

Those who rank genuine musical passion in today's society among unicorns and leprechauns please meet London jazz singer Denise Pelley. With the recent release of her debut CD Trust the Moment, Pelley proves real desire is far from a myth.

Remarkably, Pelley has managed to hold a full-time marketing job, raise three children and accumulate a list of musical merits which trail long behind her first CD. Pelley's success can be credited to the one thing she has never abandoned – her passion.

"It works because I enjoy all of [the aspects of my life] immensely," Pelley explains. "Of course being a mother is the utmost, that's very important to me. And my work at the [London] Free Press is very enjoyable. I am able to meet a lot of people, do a lot of different things, it's quite interesting. And then of course there is singing, which is my love."

The singer's courtship with music began at a very young age. At 12 years old, she took music lessons from local jazz legend John Noubarian and by the time she was 20 she had toured North America with the R&B band Sounds of Karisma. Pelley has even shared the stage with such personalities as Joan Rivers.

"I started singing when I was 11 or 12 and I'm going to turn 44 next week," she relates. "I can't imagine doing without singing, because it's just in me."

Pelley's passion for music may lead people to question why her CD is so long in coming. The answer, once again, points to her dedication. Her full commitment to everything she does, from recording a CD to motherhood, means she must be patient in order to achieve all her goals.

"It was important for me to be a mom and be there for [my kids] and make sure they were off on the right road to life before I was able to do other things I wanted to do. I never looked at it as a sacrifice, ever, ever, ever," she stresses.

"It is one thing to do a CD and that's all," she continues. "It is another thing to do a CD and really get it out there and to do the things I really want to do. I am right now ready to commit fully to do those things."

Pelley did commit and the result is an acclaimed live jazz recording performed in May of 1998 at the London Convention Centre. The singer chose to record a live CD because of her love to perform and the excitement it brings her.

"When you do something live, you live for the spontaneity of all the moments which happen in a concert, which might not be repeated in a more contained atmosphere, such as a recording studio," she points out. "It is a risk of not knowing what it's going to turn out like. But that was the risk I chose to take and luckily for me and everyone involved, it worked."

After almost 30 years of singing, Denise Pelley's musical trek is not ending, but rather beginning. She and her managers are currently working towards releasing a gospel and jazz show all over North America.

"I think there is always room for improvement, there is always room to do more. Oh yes, I'm in this for the long run."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999