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Spencer Day croons his way back to Jazz Alley

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Spencer Day — Courtesy photo
Spencer Day — Courtesy photo

Five years ago, I reviewed a show for the SGN at Jazz Alley featuring a young, out-and-proud crooner named Spencer Day, in the style of Michael Feinstein, Josh Groban, and Michael Bublé. We met backstage afterward and became fast pals.

When his LP Broadway Day came out in late 2021, I urged Jazz Alley to bring him back to Seattle. Earlier this year, my dream was realized when it was announced that Day would be returning for Pride Month. I was excited when we could finally catch up over Zoom a few weeks ago. Below are excerpts:

On the show at Jazz Alley:
"I've been working on a theme to embrace the revelry of this moment instead of dwelling on bittersweet memories. Even though it's been a couple of years since the pandemic hit, many are still adjusting and grieving losses. Through humor, I encourage everyone to embrace their inner French woman or Peggy Lee, finding humor even in grief. It may sound dark, but it's about assessing where we are and viewing things with optimism despite the odds. I've been writing a lot of new original songs, including some Broadway ones that I never fully got to explore during the release."

On dream collaborators:
"There are a few other projects that I can't announce just yet, but I'll probably reveal them by the time I'm at Jazz Alley, and I'm pretty excited about a television show coming up that's pretty cool. It's a bit of a dream.

"But let me think. I would love to write for Adele. I have a couple of songs that I don't need to sing with her; I'll let her take the reins on that fully. But I would love to collaborate on a musical with her.

"Here in Mexico, Natalia Lafourcade is someone I would love to sing a duet with. But...when I heard Adele singing something, I thought, 'Man, I have a couple of songs.' I know she sings a lot of co-writes, but I would love to write with her.

"I enjoy my voice a lot, actually. It's very specific, so I love writing for other people, because I get to hear my melodies in a way that [surprises even] me. It's a thrill to hear someone else sing your song. Lady Rizo has sung a couple of my tunes, and I know she's a big Seattle artist."

On future plans:
"That's a very good question, and I think it's part of the theme for the show I want to share with people: What's next, and how do we dream big and stay hopeful despite so many mounting disappointments we've faced?

"For a lot of us, the last couple of years have made us question a lot about our lives, including our work. People have lost loved ones and faced health scares, and everyone, no matter where they fit on the spectrum, is aware that the status quo isn't working for the majority. So, how do you dream realistically about what you'd like to achieve?

"One thing that's very important to me is helping people on a local level. I'm excited to focus on some of the nonprofits I work with, like Border Angels and Stop AIDS Project, among others. But my passion project is down here, a mix of jazz and Mexican boleros. I'm excited to start premiering some of that.

"Also, I've been writing a lot lately. I had a real low period, but now I have an electronica project, some singer-songwriter pieces in Mexico, and...Broadway songs that I really want to do. It's uncertain when we'll get to record them, though. As you know, in journalism and other fields, we're all just making it up as we go along."

Spencer Day will be at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley on June 18-19. For more info, go to https://www.jazzalley.com