Magazine 33 Interview with Jeanne

via Magazine 33

Raleigh – What genre do you lump someone like Jeanne Jolly into?  “Singer/songwriter” seems so blue collar, yet “folk singer” hints at a social agenda, of which she has none.  The Raleigh-born and raised songstress isn’t quite jazz, definitely isn’t bluegrass, and is far too educated to be a simple “roots” musician.

Jolly admits to struggling with this herself.  She has a formal music education and weaves all of the above and a few others (like opera) into her live shows.  There aren’t many rooms she can walk into and not be the most talented person in the conversation.

Yet these days she admits to being humbled, vulnerable, and even self-conscious.

Jolly called Magazine33 from the Café Carolina at Cameron Village in Raleigh one afternoon last month.  After finishing her masters degree at the New England Conservatory and beginning a career in Los Angeles, Jolly has returned home to Carolina.  Initially, she returned to be with her mother who was battling ovarian cancer.  Mom lost that battle five weeks after her daughter moved home, an event that set the stage for the current phase of Jolly’s career.

“The sense of loss, but also the sense of grace and beauty from witnessing something like that, changed my life,” she said, adding that she felt a strong need to begin songwriting.  “I immediately starting taking guitar lessons.”

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