Jenna Mammina has been recognized as one of the leading women of jazz/pop crossover for three years in a row by Jazziz Magazine and was awarded Jazz Performer of the Year in the SF Weekly. As of 2022 Jenna has recorded 11 albums on her Mamma Grace label as well as countless recordings for Blue Coast Records. Jenna has performed with Ricki Lee Jones, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Phish, and Rosemary Clooney. She’s appeared at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, The Green Mill in Chicago, and festivals like Jazz Aspen, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, and Monterey San Francisco.
A picture may paint a thousand words, but a word can tell the whole story. “Exquisite!” says author/radio host Ben Fong-Torres, former senior editor of Rolling Stone Magazine and perennial king of what’s hot and what’s not. He’s talking about pop/jazz vocalist/songwriter Jenna Mammina and he is not alone. Hailing from Michigan, home to luminary vocal legends like Aretha Franklin, Betty Carter, and her mentor, Abbey Lincoln, Jenna’s mixed heritage household and neighborhood surrounded her with a vast array of diverse culture and music. Her parents, Ben and Grace, both accomplished musicians in their own right, nurtured all four siblings to cultivate their own breed of musical talent, culminating in the creation of their own independent record label Mamma Grace Records. And the rest is HERstory...
Questions for Jenna Mammina
"Who have been your musical influences?"
Nat King Cole. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana brass. Carole King. Jim Croce. Joni Mitchell. Robert Plant. Elvis Costello. James Taylor. Dr. John. Abbey Lincoln. Walter Becker. June Millington. Pat Benatar. George Harrison. Bonnie Raitt. Michael Franks. Ella Fitzgerald. Andre Bush. Sammy Cahn. Rickie Lee Jones. Mahler. Abdullah Ibrahim
"If you could set up a perfect musical concert, where would it be and who would perform?"
With a 70 piece symphony orchestra, my brother, Nino Mammina, Ella Fitzgerald, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Andre Bush, John R. Burr. Larry Carlton as musical director. A beach, at sunset on The Adriatic Sea...or Maui.
Of course Blue Coast Records would be doing an on-site live recording.
"If you had to choose another career pursuit, what would it be?"
A geriatric Doctor who specializes in oncology but practice would been based on Integrative medicine.
Photo by Elizabeth Kirian