Angela Verbrugge Full Bio

JazzTimes Magazine writes that Canadian jazz vocalist Angela Verbrugge "possesses a winsome, brightly-burnished, pliable voice, with ample emotional intelligence, considerable song-writing skills, and conspicuously good taste.” In 2021, amazingly as a relative newcomer, Angela won the JazzTimes Readers' Poll, for Best Female Vocalist (Diana Krall, Cecile McLoren Salvant and Veronica Swift were named as runners up). 

Angela recorded her debut album with a veteran piano trio in New York and released it through Gut String Records in 2019. Toronto Music Report described, Angela’s “Verbrugge addresses each with the breathtakingly, absolutely natural and unaffected purity of her voice… her material sounds magical. A rare perfect album.”

The album debuted at #1 in jazz on iTunes-Canada. CBC Radio host Laila Biali described, "There's so much joy in delivery.” Wall Street Journal-writer and acclaimed author Will Friedwald writes in his liner notes that Verbrugge possesses, "a vocal sound that's full of depth and nuance - welcoming the light without denying the existence of the darkness” and that she works with a “top-drawer arranging crew and cast of expert musicians”.

Angela was one of the youngest graduates from Toronto’s George Brown School of Performing Arts after a youth spent active on the arts scene of her birth city, Kingston, Ontario. She relocated to Vancouver in 1997 and started spending most her time in Victoria in 2019. After having three kids (now 13, 15 and 16) and three brushes with death (drowning, car accident and cancer), she followed her passion to jazz by curating her own musical education through mentorship from band-mates, jam sessions, and over the years through Vancouver musicians such as Miles Black, Jennifer Scott, Karin Plato, and Kate Hammett-Vaughan. A life-long student, Angela has sought out lessons from acclaimed vocalists and musicians including Karrin Allyson, Sheila Jordan, Rebecca Kilgore, and technique under masters such as Caity Gyorgy, Lisa Popeil, Cecile LaRochelle and Judith Rabinovitch. 

Angela is primarily influenced by traditional jazz, the swing era, vintage musicals, and bebop. As a lyricist, her work has received critical acclaim. “She is a witty songwriter, drawing on Cole Porter, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Johnny Mercer for inspiration and rapid-fire rhymes, occasionally resembling a less vinegary Dave Frishberg.” (JAZZ LIVES) 

She has appeared at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and at many jazz clubs such as Frankie’s Jazz Club, Hermann’s Jazz Club Victoria, and the Rex Jazz Club in Toronto. She has been a guest performer at clubs in including Tula's in Seattle, and NYC venues such as Django, Fat Cat, Smalls, and Mezzrow. Her trios have included such acclaimed musicians as Cameron Brown, Anthony Pinciotti, Neil Swainson, Miles Black, Cory Weeds, Paul Rushka, Julian MacDonough, Ray Gallon, Jesse Cahill, Joe Poole, Bernie Senensky, Terry Clarke and Evan Sherman. Her record received critical acclaim from radio/podcast hosts across the globe, with airplay on CBC Saturday Night Jazz, Hot Air, NPR, popular jazz programs the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia, and charted on both Earshot and JazzWeek. It was selected by Earshot as a top 10 vocal jazz release in 2019, and Angela's name appeared in the 2020 JazzTimes Readers' Poll in the Female Jazz Vocalist category.

George Harris at Jazz Weekly sums it up, describing, Angela is "fun and quirky, hip and a hoot, wispy and romantic; she slithers and oozes, and cleverly swings... in the Archie Comics of life, this lady is a bubbly Betty.”

Above, Angela is pictured on her Night We Couldn't Say Good Night tour to Ontario at the Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada with L-R: Jazz Pianist of the Year Bernie Senensky, 7-time Juno award winner Neil Swainson, and Order of Canada recipient jazz drummer Terry Clarke. 

SHORT BIO

Jazz Vocalist Angela verbrugge

Angela Verbrugge is a charismatic vocalist based in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

A former actress, Angela turned to her passion of performing the best of Great American Songbook, vocal jazz and bossanova favourites. She also writes songs in that style, and has a knack for finding hidden gems in the traditional pop and vocal jazz songbooks.

With a voice that is at once both innocent and sultry, she exudes playfulness and passion that takes audiences on a journey to their own memories of love and excitement, longing and broken-heartedness. She calls upon beloved composers like Porter, Gershwin, Kern and the repertoire of beloved songstresses and crooners of the past while adding her own signature flair and polish.

Angela customizes her program for each show, whether she is performing contemporary jazz at Frankie's Jazz Club in Vancouver, the historic home for jazz in Toronto, the Rex, exploring the Great American songbook at Hermann's in her hometown, or gracing the stage at the Vancouver International Film Festival. She also adores donning vintage clothes, pin-curls, and singing traditional jazz of the 1920s to 40s on outdoor stages, and at private parties.

"Angela's stage presence surpasses all of her contemporaries. ...every song becomes a story," Rod MacDonald, artistic director of the Pat's Vancouver Jazz Series