Courtesy Pat Steel
Pat Steel Profile
Pat Steel played with the great names of jazz and entertainment including the likes of Bob Newhart.
The house lights dimmed, fading to blackness as the stark white of a spotlight snapped on overhead. She stepped into the lights, sequins shimmering, her voice spreading through the rapt audience like warm chocolate. As the toe-tapping melody unfolded, Pat Steel did what she was born to do: sing jazz.
From the very first, she knew it had to have that swing. Steel says, “I was driven to sing. I had to do it. Why jazz? I have no idea. I would listen to the radio late at night and hear jazz music. That’s what I was drawn to.”
And audiences were drawn to her. Equated to jazz legends like Peggy Lee, Steel emulated her favourites—including Carmen McRae and Ella Fitzgerald—though she infused her own style, flair ,and voice into each note, each number.
Growing up, she was crazy about horses and would even sing in the stables. She taught herself by ear. She says, “I was so fixated on jazz that I didn’t know that you could go to school for that. I’d listen to jazz singers and instrumentalists and I didn’t think of taking lessons.”
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