Christine Baze is returning to herself. On her latest EP, a three cut promotional CD created for the Yellow Umbrella Tour 2005, the songs underneath the landscape of electronics are pure and honest. Recorded in 2004 with her former band, The Skills of Ortega, Bazes songwriting is at the heart of this musical landscape. These songs highlight her inner strength and resolve to embrace all that life brings, and to be an active participant in each day. Her thoughtful lyrics come to life through catchy hooks and her rich, clear, velvety voice. Over the years, Baze has worked with an eclectic range of musicians, each bringing a different flavor to her intimate and personal songs created at the piano. This past tour, Baze went on the road with two talented musicians Jesse Ciarmataro (jessecmusic.com) and Stephen Wacki Serwacki. Jesse brings years of songwriting and proficiency on multiple instruments, in addition to his sultry voice to the Baze project. Wacki, a talented drummer, long time friend and collaborator who is currently touring the country in STOMP, joined Baze on the 2005 tour to add break beats and grooves to the songs, giving them a special cutting edge. The 2005 tour, and the full-length album due out this summer, finds Baze at a new comfort level with herself and her songs. While her work with The Skills of Ortega allowed her to experiment with unique electronic sounds and programming, going back to Baze has allowed her to create a new intimacy with the raw material where the songs were first born. Touring only with a fender Rhodes, bass, and drums, the material stands on it's own and makes you stop, listen, and feel. The course of Bazes musical career has been anything but a traditional path. Born in rural upstate New York, Baze started playing classical piano at the age of 4, and continued for the next 17 years. The sounds and influences during this time ranged from Rachmaninoff to show tunes to Carol King. Always pulled in by emotion, Baze would spend hours in her room singing to herself and feeling the power of musical expression. After years of college and two degrees (Baze has a BA in psychology and a MS in marriage and family therapy), she dropped out of her PhD program and decided she needed to find her own voice, and her own music. She first began collaborating with Boston singer songwriter John Powers in a duo called Goose, and then eventually started writing her own material. Playing in coffee shops and bars throughout the northeast, Baze developed her sound and style, finding strength in her live performances and ability to truly connect with people. The material was introspective and thoughtful. Eventually she formed a band and expanded her sound the music became more lighthearted and fun a new light was shining through her, and anything seemed possible. And then, in 2000, everything changed when Baze, then 31, was diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. The music stopped, and Baze fought for her life. Surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy became her world. After treatment, she was depleted and incomplete, questioning everything about her life and what the future could hold. Baze took these questions, her experience, and her love of music and decided to do something that would make a difference. She started a non-profit organization called Popsmear.org to raise awareness about preventing cervical cancer, and became the founder of The Yellow Umbrella Tour as a way to get the message out to women everywhere, through the thing she loved the most music. The last 3 years have been a building time for Christine Baze. First returning to music through her band The Skills of Ortega, and now going back to Christine Baze. The down tempo, groovy songs parallel her love of life, appreciation for each moment, the realness of emotion, and the ability to find strength and beauty within oneself, no matter what.
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