Chantal Thompson is a Kingston-based jazz music vocalist and multidisciplinary artist with an international reputation. Not only is she a pillar of the Kingston jazz music scene, Chantal performs with world class musicians from Canada, the United States and Europe. Her music is played on radio and satellite stations around the world and she has performed in many notable festivals, such as the Montreal jazz festival.
Chantal is a self taught musician, starting in high school where she formed her first band, won local competitions and opened for well known acts. While earning her degree in philosophy from Queen’s University, Chantal fronted the band JOYY that maintained a Monday night house gig for three years straight, consistently packing the house to capacity every week. She also toured Montreal and Toronto, and traveled to Russia.
At the Ontario College of Art and Design she studied integrated media focusing on performance and audio art as well as film, painting and sculpture. This influenced her songwriting and stage presence and it was there that she started experimenting with poetry and projections, catching the attention of Warner Music Canada who organized showcases for her.
Chantal joined a seven piece nu-jazz band called directions and was picked up by The Agency Group, a prestigious international booking agency. directions toured jazz festivals across Canada with highlights including two packed gigs at the Montreal Jazz Festival. The band was remixed by renowned deejays in early 2000 and attracted a following in the house music scene. The Kyoto Jazz Massive and Carl Craig remixed Chantal’s vocals and DJ Gilles Peterson of the BBC radio show selected one of her songs for his best of the year. directions played a sold out show at The Jazz Cafe in London England and were selected as the pick of the evening in the London Time Out. Their CD ‘Have You Felt This Way Before’ was released in Japan and England on vinyl through diaspora.
Chantal has written songs for the TV series Metropolis and the Canadian Indie film, Amateur Night. She moved to New York, auditioned and was accepted for jazz master vocal workshops with Mark Murphy and Jay Clayton. In New York she teamed up with some top jazz instrumentalists for her recording project Sirens & Stars before embarking on her solo jazz career.
Her full-length solo debut, Sirens & Stars, reimagines beautiful soulful standards and originals in the cool jazz genre, with a bluesy introspection. “People have described the record as having a cinematic quality and this is something I am definitely interested in exploring,” she explains. To sum it up, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday and Ornette Coleman.