Stacey Knights

 

When asked, "What kind of music do you play?", Stacey Knights has to pause to find the words. She would love to be able to 
categorize it, but that is difficult to do when there is so much variety in her sound. "Since I love both jazz and pop music, I wanted to find a way to blend the two. We combined elements of Adult Contemporary, Pop, Latin, Jazz, and a little R&B to create the sound we have today.


      We are pursuing venues that can get our sound out there to the right audience, says Knights, like festivals. I think we have a good blend of music to perform at adult contemporary or smooth jazz events."


     Stacey Knights began her musical career at the age of 10, when she wrote a song to commemorate the name change of her elementary school in Massachusetts. The next year she started on saxophone in her middle school band. I wanted to play the clarinet, and I cried when my Dad brought home a saxophone, but I took it anyway - considering the outcome, I guess he made a good choice. comments Stacey. She quickly found herself at the head of the class and practicing was a fun diversion. I even tried to teach myself piano with some old books that my grandfather had laying around - they were piano lessons by mail, I ended up more often than not just making up little songs than trying to gain information from those mildewed publications.


     "The flute was my first doubling instrument. I was just your typical teenager with an alienated attitude. My music teacher at the time played flute and had started a summer band camp, so I joined. I played every day from 9 am to 12 pm, and then from 12 am until 3 am. I liked that I could play anytime of day because it was a quiet instrument, unlike the saxophone." By the new school year, she was first chair flute, and by the time she was sixteen, she knew music was going to be her life. "I remember returning from my second year at another music summer camp, to sit my parents down and inform them (with tears in my eyes) that I intended to become a musician. I donít know what I was so scared of - but I knew my parents to be practical in nature, so letting them know I was going to become a struggling artist - I guess I thought I might be disowned or something! Thankfully, they havenít held it against me. "


     Singing in choirs through high school, she performed in a semi-professional accapella touring group on the weekends. "Oddly enough, I didnít think I had a good voice. The only compliment I can remember receiving is that I had a nice Ďblendingí voice. I figured that meant I wouldnít be doing much solo work! I was in my late twenties when I realized that people would pay me to sing, which was wonderful, because secretly, I always wanted to play and sing!"


     On a music scholarship, Stacey attended St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN. Three years later she transferred to University of North Texas. "I struggled with tuition and expenses for three years at North Texas, I eventually came to the realization that even with the financial aid, I couldnít continue on. By then, my whole family had moved to Florida, so I packed up my stuff in two suitcases, put my two cats in carriers, and moved to the Tampa Bay area."


     Influenced by her parents practicality, Knights had studied band instrument repair in college. She had a knack for it, and repairing horns was a way she could support herself while developing her skills for the stage. "I worked with any group that I could, but I was always hired for just sax or flute, so when the budget got tight, I was the first to be let go. At some point, it became clear that it was time for me to go solo if I was to develop my own style and sound. So, I bought a sequencer and began working alone."


     Her solo act flourished, and she started planning a CD project with her husband, J.R. Sanson, a producer and recording engineer. "I wanted to show off some of my songwriting talents and we wanted to have control of the creative process. There is a whole generation of people out there who have matured too much to relate to the over-saturated Ďteenage iconí music. They have the desire to hear something that speaks to them, with more contemporary ideas that relate to their adult lifestyle... with all its commitments and concerns.Iím sure of that, because Iím one of them! I have a family, and a home, and I want to hear new music that reflects experiences common to me and my peers. So, thatís where my music centers. "

At this time she is recording her second CD. It contains both her original compositions and compositions of members in her group. Of this effort, Knights says, "I am very optimistic that this upcoming CD will be a lifesize musical portrait of my current tastes and personal style."


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