Description: Monique Varsames will be appearing at The Metropolitan Room January 27that 7pm, for an evening of original music showcasing her recently released album "Sweet Days". The songs off this album have a very organic, bluesy, Americana feel with some beautiful acoustic guitar arrangements. Monique will also sing a few of her favorite classic cover songs.
A native of Michigan, Monique grew up enveloped in the “Rythym and Blues” world. She grew up on the stage singing ad-lib blues with the likes of Kenny Olson (former Kid Rock guitarist for 12 yrs) and many Detroit rooted singers and musicians. Growing up in this musical surrounding helped give Monique a strong foundation in American rooted music. Her warm distinctive tone and strong vocal quality has been compared to that of a female “James Taylor”, and Joni Mitchell.
Sharing the stage with Monique will be her long time friend and creative partner, Sean Harkness on guitar. Monique and Sean have been working together for over 15 years. Their most recent works include the 13-song album (released June 2011) of which 11 compositions were written and sung by Monique and Sean wrote the instrumental arrangements and co-produced.
Sean is a world-renowned recording and solo artist. He composes music for solo guitar and for small ensembles, and he supports many singers, musicians and theatrical productions. He has won the Bistro Award for outstanding instrumentalist and the MAC award for his own debut as a solo artist in clubs.
Also sharing the stage with Monique will be Mimi Jones on bass, Darro "Sparky" on drums, and Brigit Moynihan on backing vocals.
The new album (CD) will be available for purchase. 100% of the album proceeds will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Gift of Life Foundation. Please visit Monique's "Give Back" campaign section at www.moniquevarsames.com for more information on these organizations.
Monique has sung with world-renowned artists as well as local, down home rooted musicians. All of which have helped shape her into the Bluesy, Americana songwriter and soulful singer she is today.
A native of Michigan, Monique grew up enveloped in the “Rhythm and Blues” world. She grew up on the stage singing ad-lib blues with the likes of Kenny Olson (former Kid Rock guitarist for 12 yrs) and many other talented and notable singers and musicians. Growing up in this musical surrounding helped give Monique a strong foundation in American rooted music. Her warm distinctive tone and strong vocal quality has been compared to that of a female “James Taylor”, and Joni Mitchell.
Monique was born in Livonia, Michigan and grew up in the Detroit suburbs before moving to Traverse City, Michigan as a teenager. She began singing and writing songs at a very early age. At 17, she began performing the "Blues", at a local Traverse City music venue, Union Street Station. She snuck in to the club one night and after singing some ad-lib blues with the host band headed by John Ivan Greilick (former guitarist for Rare Earth), she became a regular, continuing to share her voice and songs for years to come.
Monique began her professional career singing with various R&B groups in her late teens into her early twenties. One of her favorite gigs was performing with a trio called the "Sister's Act" at the Grand Traverse Resort’s Trillium Lounge, singing songs from the famous Andrew Sister’s. Monique was also the lead singer for the Trillium Lounge house band before moving out to the New York Westchester County area 19 years ago where she now resides.
Every summer Monique returns to her hometown of Traverse City. There you will find her singing at Union Street with her old pal (school mate) Kenny Olson and other musician friends.
"Home is where the heart is, and you must never forget where you started. Some of the best musical moments of my career happened on the stage at Union Street Station", says Monique. In the East Coast, Monique has shared the stage with many different groups over the years and has performed at world-class venues. She was the lead female vocalist for a 9-piece Funk and R&B horn band for 10 years.
It was in this group that she met guitarist, producer, Windham Hill recording artist, and friend, Sean Harkness.
Sean and Monique have been working together on music on and off for more than 15 years. Sean brings his amazing gift of music by writing instrumental arrangements for Monique's original songs. It has been a great team effort all around. The music and vocals are simply organic.
Being a songwriter has always been at the core of Monique's heart. She recorded her first original album "Shades of Mundane", back in 2000 with Sean. Her second album "Sweet Days” comes to you as an authentic story waiting to be told. Released June 7, 2011.
On her current album "Sweet Days", Monique and Executive producer Sean Harkness, brought in "A" class players including: Skip Ward on bass (Grammy Award winning artist for playing on Steve Martin's bluegrass album "The Crow"), Valerie Ghent on keyboard (played with Suzanne Vega, Ashford and Simpson), Mauro Refosco on percussion (plays with David Byrne of the Talking Heads & Thom Yorke of Radio Head), and of course, arranger, producer and Windham Hill recording artist Sean Harkness on acoustic and electric guitars and instrumental arrangements.
"Sweet Days" is an album that tells a story with lyrical content that the listener can relate to. The music is full of heart and soul, it’s an honest work of art”. JD, Michigan "Sweet Days" harkens back to the time when music was played by people together, and you could feel it. I can "hear" the heart in the songs, the singing, and the playing". Glenn Berger PHD Monique received a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and is currently finishing her Masters Degree in Childhood education/Special Education at Manhattanville College, NY.
"Sweet Days" Full-length album (13 songs) is available on I-Tunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody and more.........