Press Quotes

On Lotus Blossom Days, released July, 2022: 

“Burns comes out swinging and realizing a knockout punch.”  C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

"Vicki's voice on Lotus Blossom Days is warm and round, sophisticated and optimistic with shades of blue. She also takes terrific risks that pay off... Marc Myers, Jazz Wax


“Burns clearly put her heart and soul into Lotus Blossom Days... this is the jazz nightclub experience without the cover charge, but some may want to pour a glass of fine bourbon and enjoy it along with the music and the mood which Burns successfully recreates.” Jeff Winbush, All About Jazz

Neon Jazz podcast with Joe Dimino

“There are literally tons of memorable and powerful moments on Lotus Blossom Days... Burns’ transcendent swirling scat passages dart and romp in a blissful, wild back and forth conversation with pianist Art Hirahara’s snazzy piano solos" Jonathan Widran, JW Vibe  

“She has a great voice and infectious swing, and a whole lot of chops. And a future.” Richard Salvucci, All About Jazz 

“An album from a very good jazz songstress who is accompanied by instrumentalists who are well on the money. Vicki Burns deserves better than the title of songstress. This lady has a pleasing wide-ranging voice, crystal clear diction, and she knows how to sing as if she means it.” Ann Alex, Bebop Spoken Here

“A classic thrush vibe while not being tethered to the classic songbook, this album is a complete show... A right on bet for the jazz vocal fan.” Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“A masterful collection that grabs your attention and never lets it go.” Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz


On Vicki Burns Quartet: Live At Anna's Jazz Island, released 2009

”Vicki Burns has a limitless future. Her very attractive voice, versatile style and infectious delivery combine to give her her own memorable sound.” Scott Yanow 

”Vicki Burns does indeed 'burn' on this recording. The stars were aligned just right when she was blessed with a singing voice that was made for the jazz idiom.” John Gilbert 

On Siren Song, released 2003: 

Singer VICKI BURNS is next from her new release, SIREN SONG …(A) Bay area singer of jazz interpretation, Burns will blow your mind. A young Carol Sloane? I’ll try not to get to far out in hyper never land, but this lady has got it and it’s all on this CD. A June Christy like thrill… Sometimes the small labels create great music and VICKI BURNS is one to be reckoned with... Would a Helen Merrill comparsion apply here? “Bop’N” Dick Crockett “The Voice” 88.7 fm Sacramento, CA. 

”For a debut CD collection, SIREN SONG gives the listening audience topnotch performances from all concerned. Vicki Burns is a knockout with her beautiful vocals, and phrasing. The musicians with her are excellent.” Lee Prosser 

“Avoiding the predictability of safe havens, her music brims with many more surprises and uncharted delights in the jazz tradition. Vicki Burns is irresistible.”  Dr Herb Wong, Bay Area Producer and reviewer, Jazz Education Journal, Nov./Dec. 2003 


PPI Radio Award/National Radio Award 2008 for the radio series "Jazz on the Bay", hosted by Melanie O'Reilly and features interviews and the music of jazz musicians/vocalists of the Bay Area as well as international jazz artists such as Dave Brubeck, Marion Mc Partland, Chick Corea, and James Moody. The winning series included "Women of jazz on the Bay, " which featured artists such as Vicki Burns, Anna de Leon, Susan Muscarella, Frankye Kelly, Tammy Hall, Faye Carroll,and Denise Perrier. 



Live at Anna's Jazz Island Vicki Burns | Self Produced (2008) By JEFF WINBUSH January 7, 2010. Jeff Winbush is a freelance writer and columnist hanging out in Columbus, Ohio. More about Jeff.Track Listing: Polkadots and Moonbeams; Meditation; Sweet Home Chicago; Billie's Bounce; No More Blues; You Don't Know Me; Honeysuckle Rose/Scrapple From the Apple; All or Nothing at All; Billie's Blues; Darn That Dream; Deed I Do.Personnel: Vicki Burns: vocals; John Nichols: guitar; Sam Bevan: bass; Smith Dobson: drums; Nika Rejto: flute (8); Mary Ellen Donald: Arabic tambourine (2); Adam Blankman: vocals (4).Is it possible to love jazz and not possess the restless spirit of discovery? Probably not. Jazz is a restless art forum and, while it respects it's rich and varied history, it always welcomes talented young bloods to renew and replenish the pool of talent.Vicki Burns isn't a widely known jazz singer—yet. Some honcho at a record label needs to download Live at Anna's Jazz Island—currently only available as a digital download—and lock her up to a contract. Burns has been plugging away in the Bay Area of San Francisco, delighting audiences and building a reputation as a refined vocalist.The choice of material is all standards, but Burns delivers the goods with her rich and dynamic voice. The setting is Anna's Jazz Island, a nightclub holding up the tradition of live jazz, and it's an environment where Burns shines, backed by her trio and a few guest musicians. Burns cites Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney among her influences, but she's no pallid imitator. Her phrasing and knowledge of how to approach a song with tasteful restraint are impeccable. She could teach a thing or two to American Idol aspirants in how to build to a bravura finish.Burns is no one-trick pony either. On Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and Billie Holiday's "Billie's Blues," she demonstrates that a white girl from Maine can bring the sassy blues mama attitude when she's got a mind to be one. Burns is equally at ease when the mood calls for her to be sophisticated, sleek and suave ("You Don't Know Me," "All or Nothing at All," "Darn That Dream"). Her scatting isn't bad either, as she gives as good as she gets in a duet with guest vocalist Adam Blankman on "Bille's Bounce.If there's any complaint to be made about Live at Anna's Jazz Island, it's that Burns' band is serviceable if not remarkable. Guitarist John Nichols and bassist Sam Bevan, in particular, have several bright moments, but Burns is ready to take the next step up in musicians to accompany her.Vicki Burns is poised to break out to wider recognition as the next decade begins. She lives up to her surname; she burns the mutha out.” - Jeff Winbush

All About Jazz

Featured Artist: Vicki BurnsCD Title: Siren Song Year: 2003 Record Label: Merrymaid Productions Style: Jazz VocalsMusicians: Vicki Burns, vocals. Leonard Thompson, piano. John Wiitala, bass. Steve Robertson, drums. Kenny Brooks, saxophones. Dave Allen, trumpet.Review: Interested in some classy, stylish jazz vocals? Please allow me to introduce you to Vicki Burns on her debut CD, SIREN SONG. Vicki Burns has class, style, and polish that comes across in her vocals.This collection has eleven songs. Among the songs are "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "How Am I To Know?," "Autumn Leaves," "Siren Song," "I Got It Bad," "You Are My Sunshine," and "Witchcraft." "Here's Looking At You" and "Witchcraft" are two of the many fine songs in this collection.For a debut CD collection, SIREN SONG gives the listening audience topnotch performances from all concerned. Vicki Burns is a knockout with her beautiful vocals, and phrasing. The musicians with her are excellent. Leonard Thompson is tops on his piano stylings.Each musician gives great solo performances. Dave Allen on trumpet gives some fine, impressionistic solo work.This is a fine collection. Flawless production values. Highly recommended.Artist's Website: http://www.vickiburns.comReviewed by: Lee Prosser” - Lee Prosser

CD Reviews: Vicki Burns Quartet..Live At Anna's Jazz Island 2008Reviews By John GilbertVicki Burns vocals, John Nichols on guitar, Sam Bevan on bass, SmithDobson V on drums. Special guests: Mary Ellen Donald on ArabicTambourine, Nika Rejto on flute and Adam Blankman on vocalsVicki Burns does indeed 'burn' on this recording. The stars were alignedjust right when she was blessed with a singing voice that was made forthe jazz idiom.Sweet Home Chicago" Burns shows some range on this blues tune as sheswings it to the max. A cool guitar solo has a heavy mesage coupled witha facile rendering.Billies Bounce" This number gets off the ground and into orbit withBurns and Adam Blankman scatting in unison. Burns, in scatting thechanges takes no prisoners. Everybody has a helping (as Pres would say)on the four bar exchanges with Miss Burns leading the way with superbideation. This tune is the highlight of the album. The tempo is as fastas a knife fight in a phone booth with Burns emerging as the winner.Honeysuckle Rose" / "Scrapple From The Apple" Now hear this, Burns isin top form with her smokier than a speakeasy, leave no meat on the boneinterpretation of 'Honeysuckle Rose' followed by a hipper than hip'Scrapple' that Bird himself would approve of.Darn That Dream" Vicki Burns has an evocative side and it shinesthrough on this ballad with a clear as crystal vocal.An unusual tempo only makes this song work as cool as a South Beachcocktail.Nichols guitar solo is a gem and the vocal is pure magic.Deed I Do" is the last tune on this album but it ranks up there withthe best of the best on this disc. John Nichols has some quotes thatwill bing a smile, "Way down yonder in the land of cotton" being one.Did I dig this tune ?..Deed I Did.Viki Burns brings her 'A' game to every performance and studio session.She has a range as vast as the King Ranch and the ability to scat aswell as any of her peers.To hear all 11 tunes on this disc and to purchase one, go to or Stars” - John Gilbert


Friday, April 6, 2012Vicki Burns Live At Anna's Jazz Island 2009Vicki Burns reached out to me and requested I give her 2009 Live at Anna's Jazz Island a test drive then share my thoughts with the world. Lately my mailbox is crammed full of releases from every female singer from all corners of the globe under the assumption that they know what pitch is and have a working knowledge of swing. Truth be told most could not find pitch with written instructions and snapping your fingers in rhythmic time to the tune is not exactly "swing." Long story short, my address was given and here we are.I decided to kick off my sonic adventure (I often compare this gig to being a musical prospector) with the iconic "Sweet Home Chicago" from blues legend Robert Johnson. The translation this tune makes with some rather tasty jazz sensibilities is spot on. Burns nails this tune with an ensemble that understands the rudiments of swing. In short...everyone works and plays well together. Burns has a smooth full bodied voice with a nice silky finish, her swing goes down smooth. Jumping back to the opener it would be a crime against music to leave out a stellar rendition of "Polkadots And Moonbeams." An absolute favorite is "Billie's Bounce" and while frames of musical reference and inherently unfair there is an infectious Manhattan Transfer meets Anita O'Day vibe going on that is absolutely out of sight and especially with this a live recording. The guitarist and bassist and drummer bring it and swing hard! "You Don't Know Me" is more of a pop country classic co-written by the great Eddie Arnold and Burns has the chops and the phrasing to flip this to a jazz standard that lingers long after the last note. "Honeysuckle Rose"/"Scrapple From The Apple" is another crowd favorite. I shun the term "jazz critic" opting for "jazz advocate" and Vickie Burns is indeed the real deal.Independent artists have it rough, especially in this the now Obama economy. Independent critics do not have the easiest of times either. Critics or jazz advocates answer to artists, labels, other publicists, other publications and the list goes on. Occasionally we run across the artist that mistakes our job as that of a publicist and should things not go to their liking they then try and seek some sort of cyber-vengeance simply due to their lack of knowledge of how the music business works - that and their total lack of talent. Why am I saying all this? Vicki Burns is one of the better vocalists I have heard in some time, a class act and if they stick the right to a major record deal in the U.S. Constitution then Burns should be first in line!Tracks: Polkadots And Moonbeams; Meditation; Sweet Home Chicago; Billie's Bounce; No More Blues; You Don't Know Me; Honeysuckle Rose/Scrapple From The Apple; All Or Nothing At All; Billie's Bounce; Darn That Dream; Deed I Do.Personnel: Vicki Burns: vocals; John Nichols: guitar; Sam Bevan: bass; Smith Dobson: drums.Special Guests: Mary Ellen Donald, Nika Rejto, Adam Blankman.” - Brent Black


Writing about the 2011 Vocal Jazz Festival at the Iridium Jazz Club: "Among the fabulous females is one of the most coolly competent -- or just plain cool --- jazz singers I have heard so far this year: Vicki Burns, from the West Coast. She has a clean sound and a great technique that’s pretty dazzling.” - Rob Lester


Gone Today, Here Tomorrow by Katie Bull  Why is it that when a jazz vocalist performs a tribute to a vocal jazz icon some ask, “Are they just doing a sound-alike night or will they innovate?” When an instrumentalist performs a tribute to a ‘Great’, it is assumed they will bring their own artistry to the act of honoring legacy. So the above question reveals a different set of assumptions for jazz vocalists.This month we have the opportunity to hear singers offer tributes to those who are no longer with us. Consider the singers’ individual styles and energies in the context of varying approaches and you will find the tribute that excites your listening sensibilities. As part of Flushing Town Hall’s Celebrating Women In Jazz series, Antoinette Montague will channel Nina Simone, Alberta Hunter, Sarah Vaughan, Bessie Smith and Etta Jones in A Tribute to the Ladies Who Swing (Apr. 6th). Montague is a bluesy swingwarrior. Like a tributary, her stream of energy connects with the rivers of the women she respects, yet she is her own voice.Seasoned and truthfully cool, Vicki Burns will pay tribute to Anita O’Day at Metropolitan Room (Apr. 23rd). Burns’ voice is a resonant blend of bright upper tones and warm chest sounds and her supple phrasing and timbre are uncannily similar to O’Day’s. Burns lilts, slides and scats percussively, invoking O’Day but maintaining her own identity. The first definition of the word “tribute” in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is not in reference to a performance or oratory method of honoring; instead it is a tax paid to display submission and to obtain protection by those in power. Run to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room to hear cabaret great Michael Feinstein ‘pay’ Ellington his due in Elegant Ellington (Apr. 24th-25th). Feinstein’s voice paints pictures of the Duke’s world, evoking shiny brass instruments in motion, crisp tuxedos and winged gowns. It’s interesting to note what Feinstein has acknowledged in past interviews: “While some things are set, we let it be changeable.” Sometimes a concept about genres is the tribute. Miles Griffith and Carolyn Leonhart are both featured in drummer Tommy Campbell’s Vocal-Eyes group, where the idea is to fuse traditional, ethnic, contemporary and progressive jazz. Boy, does he have the right singers for that approach. When Griffith blasts off the stage, there is no telling where he might go.The entire spectrum of sonic communication, from primordial to traditional to alien and back again, is at this man’s vocal beck and call. Interwoven is Leonhart’s energetically calm and beautifully sensual voice. Vocal-Eyes is a tribute to the art of song itself. Hear the band at Smoke (Apr. 17th). A way of life can be honored in tribute. Don’t Cry for No Hipster (Nardis), from singer/keyboardist Ben Sidran, is an entertaining album featuring 12 original songs celebrating the hipster way. In his liner notes Sidran quotes theater improvisation legend Del Close: “The hipster has the Taoist’s aversion to pinning down the changing world.” Sidran’s album sates his curiosity about the changing hipster culture - he’s one of the artists who helped create it. Enjoy Sidran “hooglin’” at Jazz Standard (Apr. 24th).CD releases falling into the tribute realm this month include Giacomo Gates’ wonderful Miles Tones: Giacomo Gates Sings Miles Davis (Savant). Gates is completely in the Davis pocket on this album. Singing vocalese in warm, husky long tones that are weighty, he leaves plenty of space. Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix is the highlight of Gates’ seamlessly connected sextet. Finally, Stephanie Jordan’s cohesive album The Stephanie Jordan Big Band: Yesterday When I Was Young (A Tribute to Lena Horne) (Vige) is a straightahead knockout. Since surviving Hurricane Katrina, Jordan picked herself up and this album unites her with Horne’s kindred steadfast spirit. The music is a tribute to persistence, a quality Jordan’s voice embodies. Whether inspired by the invocation or innovation impulse, good tributes say seize the day - with gratitude. While gone today, jazz greats live on tomorrow through their legacies. Looking back intribute, the artist pays it forward.” - Katie Bull

— New York City Jazz Record

San Jose Mercury News Andrew Gilbert