Betsy Ezell has been on a growth trajectory as a musician and singer her entire life, learning and taking bigger risks along the way. It started with piano lessons, then violin, teaching herself guitar, then youth group worship band, singing in choir, then college choir and orchestra, later to a blues band, to jazz vocals, up to the singing with the big band, then on to worship leading for larger and larger audiences, to dabbling in arranging, to leading worship for 20,000 people at a conference, and ending up as a mom of two kids and really wishing she’d taken the leap into writing and performing her own music. At age 35, it just felt too late. But avoiding regret can be a tremendous motivator…
The Betsy Ezell Quintet presents a diverse sound, ranging from straight ahead jazz, to blues, to Latin jazz, to gospel-infused soul. The original music is hopeful and thought-provoking and the band members bring a wide range of musical backgrounds to give the live performances compelling twists and turns.
Many of the original songs from Voices were composed in 2018 as part of a writing and recording project called Feminine Blue, supported in part by an Artistic Development Grant from the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium. The project explored women's perspectives and unique voice in jazz, as well as broader cultural themes like the #metoo movement. The music was composed collaboratively, with the writing led by Ezell and edits, additions, input and support by Lang and Grant, which was an intentional and more feminine way of creating.