chat with a local :: Jordan Renzi

From the moment we heard the cool strains of her rendition of the Dead’s “I Know You, Rider” floating in the ether, we were smitten with local singer/songwriter Jordan Renzi. Then we heard her original song “September” and didn’t know just how far we could fall. Earlier this year, Jordan was named one of three 2017 Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Fellows, in the Performing Arts. You can catch her during the pre-show at the AFCC’s Pops By The Sea (so worth going early!) on August 13!

What’s your Cape Cod story? 
I was born in Brookline, grew up on the Cape til’ I was about 12 years old, then moved to the North Shore. Home right now is Eastham. Being back is definitely a happy accident – came back “just for the summer” and that was several years ago …

How long have you been playing music? What were your earliest music memories or influences?  
I started playing around on the guitar in my early twenties but not seriously until I moved to the Cape at 24. Music has always been a part of my life – I remember going to Tanglewood as a kid and the collection of music in my Dad’s car – David Bowie, the Grateful Dead, Nirvana, Steely Dan, Smashing Pumpkins. I really love all of that music so I’m sure it’s influenced me to some degree in my writing process … Can’t talk about influences without mentioning Bob Dylan, Laura Marling, Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Nielsen…

What have been some performance highlights in your career?
I’ve played some very cool venues so far – but I think as a general highlight, the rooms where we’re all there for the same reason… to be moved. Places like First Encounter Coffee House and Wellfleet Preservation HallO’Shea’s Olde Inne is like that too. Opening for Patty Larkin and the Parkington Sisters last year at Cotuit Center for the Arts and for Zoe Lewis at Club Passim were both so exciting and such an honor!

Oh, and you’re kind of an amazing painter. When/how did you get into visual arts? Does it relate to your music at all?
I started painting in October of 2015, as an impulse to make a gift for a friend. I had also had a sort of epiphany-like moment watching a woman paint en plein air that fall. The mechanics of creating an image became clear as day watching her, which was also something that came out of the blue. I was just watching her as I walked by… I think it influences my music most in keeping the creative channel open and by working in a different medium it helps me to see things from various perspectives, which is great when trying to put together a song.

Is your work – both performance and visual – influenced by the physical landscape of the Cape?
My work is absolutely influenced by the physical beauty of the Cape – both literally, in theme, and by the inspiration qualities we absorb naturally (and so fortunately!) by living in such a beautiful, energetically charged place.

What are your thoughts about our local music scene?
The local music scene on the Cape is a very exciting and nurturing place – exciting both because it’s there is SO much talent and because it’s a safe and interactive place to develop as an artist. Cape Cod is a special place, artists should be considered an official cash crop! {editors’ note: speaking of cash, please be sure to tip your local musicians and if you’re a venue owner, pay artists fairly. It’s worth it!}

Tell us about your Cape Cod dream day! 
Early morning yoga at Glow Yoga in Eastham. Mid-morning surf at Longnook Beach, Truro. Nap on the beach with book and fresh fruit. Frisbee game at low tide. Late afternoon surf. Light dinner at Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet, Couple games of pool at the Bomb Shelter (if the table is open… or to the Underground Bar in PTown, in which case dinner plans might have to switch to the Squealing Pig). On this perfect day the moon is rising just after the sun sets over the Harbor in Wellfleet. Maybe catch some local music, dj at the Beachcomber, dancing preferable. Bonfire on the beach, lights out.

Ummm, CAN WE COME? Buy Jordan’s album Featherbed online, follow her on Facebook and make a point to see her live asap!

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