B i o
// ABOUT IRENE ATMAN
Irene Atman is an Internationally, critically acclaimed Canadian singer who learned her remarkable craft performing with some of the top jazz musicians in New York, Toronto and Tokyo, as well as touring international jazz festivals. Gifted with a world-class voice, dynamic range and impeccable phrasing — along with an enticing melodic and sultry style — Atman seamlessly blends the essence of jazz with pop influences, breaking down musical genre barriers and resonating with jazz enthusiasts and adult contemporary music fans alike.
While attending the University of Toronto, Atman began her career as the lead vocalist with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra. "One of the greatest things about singing with this big band was working with some of the best musicians in the world — greats like Moe Koffman and Sam Noto,” she says of the experience. “I learned a lot from just listening to these guys.”
From there, one of her first jobs was singing on cruise ships where she was exposed to local music at various ports-of-call, from the Bossa Nova sounds of Brazil to the Soca rhythm of the Caribbean Islands. Soon after, Atman was invited to perform with jazz luminaries like the Boss Brass, Guido Basso and Oscar Peterson alumni, Dave Young, and Terry Clarke; additional early career highlights include an appearance on the same bill as Tony Bennett and Luciano Pavarotti.
In 2007, Atman connected with her friend and pianist Danny McErlain and produced her self-titled, independent debut CD; the ‘live-off-the-floor’ studio session consisted of her interpretation of eleven time-honoured classics from the ‘great American songbook.’ Inspired by the city that never sleeps, Atman then relocated to New York and, backed by some of the finest jazz musicians on the scene, recorded a session one afternoon — a collection of her interpretations of the softer side of jazz — that became her second independent CD, 2009’s New York Rendezvous.
Most recently, an introduction to the production team of record/executive producer Bruce Barrow and musical director, arranger and composer Glenn Morley has seen Atman encouraged to write more of her own songs and weave in other musical influences outside of traditional jazz background. The newly minted body of work shines bright with themes women can relate to, most specifically 2020’s forthcoming release Because I’m A Woman’s title track, Atman’s tribute to female empowerment and equality.
Rounding out the selection of original compositions the LP features “Fast Lane,” a song about online dating and fantasy romances, “I Luv Shoes,” Atman’s tongue-in-cheek jazz boogie about women who are head over heels for the perfect pair, and “Dancing With You,” a Brazil circa-’66 inspired Bossa Nova. Atman penned the ballad homage to 18th century poetry of Elizabeth Barret Browning that is a romantic duet with Canadian Tenor, Marc Masri, “Do I Love You,” and co-wrote with producer Barrow, the retro-sounding big band arrangement “Fling,” celebrating the history of jazz as an art form.
Because I’m A Woman album features a jazz interpretation of pop songs including Blondie’s “Call Me” and Spiral Staircase’s “More Today, Than Yesterday,” inspired by hearing Bruno Mars do a fun take of it during a radio interview. Plus, 1940’s jazz blues classics like “Since I Fell for You” and the sultry “Black Coffee. ”The swingin’ 60s get a revisit with songs made popular by Dusty Springfield (“You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”), Petula Clark (“I Know a Place”) and Cilla Black (John Lennon/Paul McCartney’s “It’s for You”). Speaking of McCartney, there’s an intimate, orchestral version of “This Never Happened Before” from The Lakehouse soundtrack.