Cheri Anderson
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Cheri Anderson

Palo Alto, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Palo Alto, CA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter




"It's Not Just Singing!"

The vocal performance of Cheri "Note" Anderson was so much more than singing, with her storytelling of love in it's many capacities, last night at 322 Cafe in Sierra Madre! Cheri's voice is so soothing...add that to her anecdotes for loving God, ourselves, and one another makes for a spoon-full of honey going down with your medicine, healing anything that ails you!

Cheri Note's line up of original and cover songs that combined contemporary jazz, R&B with inspirational lyrics takes the audience to a mellow place of bliss.

If you'd like to uplift your spirit come experience the soothing vibration of Cheri Note Anderson. - Pasadena San Gabriel Valley Journal

"Feeling Good About Jazz, Feeling Good About Life"

By Paul Freeman
For The Daily News

Vocalist/songwriter Cheri "Note" Anderson presents what she refers to as "feel-good jazz." Her set mixes originals and standards. The songs have one thing in common -- positivity.

Anderson, who lives in Palo Alto, says, "What I've been doing most of my career is trying to find a way to be about being positive in life and taking life in a lighter way. I've always looked at the lyrical content of the songs that I perform.

"Earlier in my career, I was doing songs like Stevie Wonder's, because he always talked a little bit more about higher consciousness, in a sense. And songs like 'Happy Feelings,' by Frankie Beverly and Maze. And then I started looking at the jazz songs that talk about things like that, songs like 'Sunny Side of the Street.'"

Anderson brings her supple, velvety voice, with its remarkable range, to Angelica's in Redwood City on Thursday, Feb. 25. Joining her will be her long-time accompanist, pianist/composer Mary Watkins, as well as multi-instrumentalist Joyce Kouffman and bassist Jan Martinelli.

While Anderson was living in Southern California, she worked in music therapy. "I really was able to see, 'Hmm, this really works for people.' I'd go into convalescent homes and whatnot and perform songs like 'Get Happy,' jazz classics about inspiration. And the patient, if they were in a catatonic state or something, they would start moving their foot or their eyes, trying to come to life.
"So I thought, 'If it's working for them, I know it can work for our society.' That's how I came to start performing what I call 'jazzing the spirit.' I want to express a lighter side that we all have, that's given to us by the universe. It's a divine right, actually, to be happy, as much as we can be. I know we can't do it all the time. And if we did it all the time, we wouldn't appreciate it. But to have it as much as we can. So that's what I sing about -- love going right, in a way. Even if it's gone awry, we can still look for that rainbow."

In the set, Watkins and Kouffman contribute songs they have written in that same upbeat vein. Anderson's own tunes include compositions such as "Aspire," the lead track from her new album, "Notes From Cheri," a soothing, silky collection of her smooth jazz/R&B tunes.

"That song is talking about aspiring to be the best that I can be every day," Anderson says. "I know sometimes things go wrong, but those things help us to gather ourselves even more and make us stronger."

Another of her songs is "Each Day." "That one's kind of a testimony of mine to choose to be happy every day. It may not be all day. But I have moments every day where I make sure that I laugh, I play and I'm joyful.

"We do songs speaking of love and light and joy and peace in the world," Anderson says. "We've combined it all together and I think we've got something special to offer."

Anderson grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her mother sang gospel. From the time she was a toddler, Anderson knew she wanted to be a vocalist. "One morning, my mother was bathing my sister and me and I said, 'When I grow up, I'm going to sing like Mama.'"`

Anderson naturally lent her powerful voice to the church. By 8, she was soloing in the choir.

"My mother's side was very religious. I was expected to go in the same direction as my mom. However, I wanted to reach a broader audience. I loved to dance. I loved to move. I loved funky rhythms. I loved jazz. My parents also listened to jazz. I fell in love with Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. I also loved the Chaka Khan tunes.

"Early on in my life, I started performing with different R&B groups and such. But they were doing the, 'I love you, baby, baby.' And I didn't feel like I fit in. As I grew older, I performed with groups that were a bit more on the spiritual side of music and did world music -- reggae, songs that were pop, but with lyrics that spoke of a higher consciousness."

She had talked about heading for the Golden State ever since she was 5 years old. "You'd see beautiful California on the TV shows, on the commercials, all the palm trees. I used to pack my bag, a brown grocery bag, with clothes, and I'd go sit on the front porch saying, 'I'm running away and going to California. And as a teenager, when I started getting into bands, I realized that the music industry was out here. I knew that was the place for me."

After graduating from Kentucky State University, in the '70s, she did move to California. She is in the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, having excelled in basketball and volleyball. The training regimens and enhanced lung capacity that came from sports helped her breath control as a singer.

Her producer, Patrice Rushen, invited her to come to Los Angeles, gave her showmanship tips and introduced her to a friend, Benni Maupon -- Herbie Hancock's saxophonist. He became a mentor to Anderson.

"He showed us the ropes," Anderson says, "the ins and outs, showed us how to stay safe and joyful, because we saw early on that it was not the kind of industry that was fun all the time or easy. To this day, I can call him for advice. He's the one who told me to get out there and write songs."

Anderson returned to the Bay Area, because she found a vibrant live music scene, when she was up here performing with singer Anna Maria Flechero. "I saw a lot of audience support for live shows in this area. At a certain point, in Southern California, it started to seem like I was spinning my wheels. I'm maturing, so I wanted to do this while I still had the energy and brightness to do this."

She put her athletic prowess to good use, getting involved in the Los Altos recreation department's pickleball league. That's a fast-rising racquet sport. Many people she met at the matches have since attended her concerts. Anderson is also a professional voice coach. But her main focus now is marketing her CD and winning new fans through live performances.

In her live shows, Anderson offers the public her musical philosophy of "living loving and loving living."
"My goal is to be used as an instrument, so that when people leave the concert, they are uplifted. I've been told that, after they've experienced the show, they're still hearing the music in their heads a week later. If they can walk away with a smile, feeling good, regardless of what they're going through, then I've done what I've come to do."

Anderson believes that, in music, as in sports, perseverance is key.

"It's sheer grit.

"I've made a few approaches in my life and I'm determined to make it happen this time around." - San Jose Mercury News

"Soulful New Album from Cheri Anderson invigorates and soothes"

By Stacey Zering - No Depression The Journal of Roots Music

"Jazz vocalist Cheri Anderson delivers musical healing on new album"

The deep soulfulness of Cheri Anderson's singing can lift the saddest of spirits. On her latest album Notes from Cheri, Anderson unveils the healing qualities of music, something that she has experienced in real life.

Q: How did you get into music, especially jazz?

A: I've been raised in a musical family. My mother and her siblings were artists. My mom was a Gospel singer who also loved jazz. Jazz was a staple of music in my family. My uncle used to have a vast library and would invite us over to his house whenever the latest album was released because he bought everything that came out by all the jazz greats. My parents were fans as well; however, they let my uncle have the "aficionado" title. I started performing in elementary school, in the youth choir, at my church.

In junior high school, I auditioned for a solo part in the choir and became the soloist for the choir as well as for the school musicals. This started my journey into the world of music and performing. My passion for performing art grew exponentially as I sang in choirs, ensembles, trios, and finally as a soloist. Over the years I noticed there was something I wanted to say and music was the way I wanted to express it so I started writing songs, tunes that had a jazz background feel to them.

I fell in love with contemporary jazz as the jazz scene evolved in the '70s, which ignited my songwriting ideas. I started performing professionally in college with a 13-piece band. We wrote songs that were a combination of jazz and R 'n' B. We opened for jazz artists such as Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds and also for R 'n' B artists like Earth, Wind, and Fire or the Jimmy Castor Bunch. My love for jazz music has to do with the richness of it, that transcends age or cultural background. I believe jazz is the only genre of music that is infinite. There is always a new type of sound being created in the jazz genre. It is understood worldwide.

Q: Can you give us an idea about what "feel good" jazz is?

A: "Feel good" jazz invites the listener in to have a seat, close your eyes, and feel the sounds that lift the spirit in you, likening it to having a warm blanket put on you on a cold winter day, warming you up so when you get up you are ready to do whatever there is for you to do, with renewed, bright energy.

Q: What are the advantages of being able to perform at different places?

A: The advantages of performing at different places for me is sharing this gift I've been given with a variety of people in a variety of venues. Each show is different for me, so having a different place helps me create the ambience I feel inspired to share.

Q: How often do you practice?

A: I practice weekly when I have time in between performances and daily when there is a show to prepare for.

Q: What song on Notes from Cheri is the most personal to you and why?

A: The song that is most personal for me on Notes from Cheri is "Each Day." That song expresses where I have been in my life journey, especially these past few years. This song has evolved as I have. I believe I was in the mode of writing songs that kind of preaches and "Each Day" took me to a place where I wanted to share my experience instead.

Q: Can you tell an unforgettable story related to your live performances?

A: I perform on occasion convalescent facilities and hospitals to sing to patients and residents. I perform jazz standards to tracks. Most of the songs I select to perform are songs about love, fun, or enlightenment such as "Sunnyside of the Street," "When I Fall in Love," "On A Clear Day," etc. The patients and residents always enjoy the music.

On a particular day a catatonic patient, who was always brought in to the session, was sitting in his wheelchair. What I do is walk by each patient and sing to them and on this day I did this with him, touching his hand to let him know I was there. I started my way back to the front of the room then turned around and as I looked around I saw the patient move. His hand was tapping the tray on his chair to the rhythm of the song. The nurse in the room came to me after the performance to tell me that this was the first time the patient had responded. Seeing her expression of surprise and joy in that moment, I felt deeply my calling to "do" and "be" the kind of music that moves the listener.

Q: Is there any artist/s that you would like to work with in the near future?

A: I would like to work with Sting or Quincy Jones.

Q: What can you consider your highest accomplishment so far?

A: I consider my highest accomplishment in my music journey to be performing for the Indigenous King of Hawaii in 2012. That experience, again, reminded me of my calling to "be" the music that moves!

Q: What keeps you busy these days?

A: These days I am working on selling my CD, Notes from Cheri. Also preparing for the 2017 festival season.

Q: What kind of legacy would you want to leave when you retire?

A: Retire? There is no plan to retire from music. I plan to sing up to the day I leave the planet. What I want to leave in that time is the message of love I live every day. My hope is people who know me will get that to live this life is to live it fully, with as much joy and love as we can muster. Grow where you are planted.

More Information:

Submitted By:

Wavelength - JazzCorner News


2015 - Notes From Cheri


My Hood

Each Day

When I Fall In Love

Christmas By the Bay

Marlo's Song (It's All Right)



Cheri performs "feel good" jazz, and rhythm/blues, in a range that reaches five octaves!  Expressing her passion of singing positive lyrics that speak of “Love”, with jazz music in the background, Cheri has found her niche, calling it "Jazzin' the Spirit"!  Classic songs such as Get Happy, Fly Me To The Moon, and Nature Boy, combined with Cheri’s originals, plus her musings about life are how she enlightens her audience, leaving them with warm memories long after the show is over!  Cheri performs with a variety of musicians of whom she calls the Love, Joy, Jazz Ensemble.

Cheri is also a "Hall of Fame" Athlete, and "Boomer" who feels that staying active in life along with looking for ways to be inspired everyday is the key to joyful living.  A Recreation Master, Cheri has combined her love of play, her love of singing and songwriting and her love of jazz music that she shares with authentic enthusiasm on stage as well as in life.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area from southern California, Cheri has been performing at venues such as The Rrazz Room, Yoshi’s, 57th Street Art Gallery, and Trader Vic’s, Angelica's Bistro, KPFA Radio, to name a few.  

Her sound has been described as silky smooth and is comparable to Sarah Vaughn or Phyllis Hyman.  Her style brings to mind Nancy Wilson.  Cheri blends all of it adding her own, unique touch to every song she sings.

Having experience in various groups as Front Artist, she has opened for such icons as Nancy Wilson, Maxi Priest, Phil Perry, and E.W.F.  She has also performed with Benny Maupin of "Head Hunters" fame, and has jammed with Roy Ayers. Cheri’s performances have taken her nation-wide!  

Songs from her latest cd, “Notes From Cheri” combine Cheri’s originals and Jazz standards that are played on KKUP, KPOO, KPFA, and KWMR radio, along with iTunes, Amazon, and cdBaby.  

Cheri has been interviewed by DJ Marilyn Fowler of KPOO Radio, Afrykan Jamal Davys of KKUP and KPFA radio, and by Grey Shepherd of KWMR Radio.  She has been recognized in the Mercury News Pop Culture Classics as a “feel good” Jazz Vocal Stylist by Reporter, Paul Freeman.