Holly Cole

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Holly Cole in Concert

Holly Cole is a jazz singer, but her voice and style really defy the category, as she's constantly swaying in new directions, looking for unique, unusual grooves and moods in the songs she takes up. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1963, Cole is the daughter of CBC Stereo network broadcaster Leon Cole. 

In 1983, Cole moved to Toronto to seek a career in music. A few years later, she forged her own path by starting the Holly Cole Trio with bassist David Piltch and pianist Aaron Davis. Cole saw her first record deal in 1989 and produced an EP titled Christmas Blues, which contained what would become an extremely popular cover of The Pretenders' "2,000 Miles." Her first LP, Girl Talk, was released the following year. Cole's major break came in 1993 with Don't Smoke in Bed, which had a funky-but-chill cover of "I Can See Clearly Now." The video for this song received a ton of spins on MuchMusic and earned a Juno Award nomination for Best Video. The album went platinum in Canada and reached No. 7 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, winning a Juno Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1994. 

In 1995, Cole went solo and released Temptation, a stormy collection of Tom Waits covers. She continued releasing successful jazz LPs throughout the ‘90s, expanding her style and even reaching into more pop-tinged sounds. Then 2000's Romantically Helpless went gold in Canada, while 2003's Shade, which featured songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Brian Wilson, won Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2004 Juno Awards. The singer re-formed the original Holly Cole Trio for the live DVD and CD Steal the Night: Live at the Glenn Gould Studio.