Neha Jiwrajka performs jazz standards and contemporary compositions in Trustman Gallery

By Simmons College Trustman Art Gallery

Simmons College presents Music in the Gallery with jazz vocalist Neha Jirwrajka, on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 2-3:30 p.m., with reception to follow, at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway in Boston. The concert and reception are free and open to the public.

Neha’s music has been described by Boston critic Jon Garelick as “deep in the jazz-vein, with the classic sound of the Great American songbook.” Her influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. Ms. Jirwrajka updates this rich tradition with her own whimsical lyrics, as well as sonic references to her mother’s longstanding classical Indian musical training, creating a contemporary sound that is all her own.

All of these influences meld together on her debut record, “The Dreamer,” produced by award-winning sound engineer Mark Donahue. Neha wrote 11 of the 12 songs on this deeply personal aural exploration of her past and was a finalist for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her track, “The Willow Tree.”

Neha is celebrated for her reimaginings of Billie Holiday’s repertoire. Her warmly expressive voice serves as a worthy interpreter of Holiday’s tortured and vulnerable tales of love gone wrong. Through her interpretations, Neha engages in the vital discussion of Holiday’s continued importance in shaping the American songwriting tradition.

Neha Jirwrajka, an accomplished jazz vocalist, pianist, and songwriter, is a recent New England Conservatory Masters program alumna. Choosing composition and performance, Neha quit her job at Google to pursue her passion. She has performed in Boston at Scullers Jazz Club and the Lizard Lounge.

Now living in Brooklyn, NY, she teaches at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Jalopy Theater and Music School. Her performance credits in New York include a headlining set for the Off-Broadway musical, “Sleep No More.” Most recently, Neha has investigated the French Jazz scene in Paris during summer 2015 and will bring some French flair to Simmons.

This concert is supported by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Art and Music. The Trustman Gallery exhibit, Not Really Practical, is on display from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14.

Trustman Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Marcia Lomedico at 617-521-2268, or visit the Trustman Art Gallery website at http://www.simmons.edu/trustman and Facebook.

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