If artists are the sum of their experiences, then it shouldn’t be surprising that Jenny Jarnagin’s songs draw from a deep well of emotional insight and melodic craft. The charismatic singer-songwriter-pianist embodies a vivacious performing style and a vivid songwriting approach that make her music effortlessly accessible and deliciously distinctive.
The Phoenix-based artist has already built a powerful body of work that reflects her diverse musical interests as well as her eclectic background living and making music in such far-flung locations as Oklahoma, British Columbia and Russia. Possessing both a beguiling voice and sublime piano skills, Jarnagin makes music that’s both earthy and sophisticated, reflecting her small-town roots as well as her extensive grounding in jazz and classical music and her instinctive ear for pop melodicism.
She’s also managed to bypass the machinery of the mainstream music industry to earn a devoted grass-roots fan base that’s embraced her personally-charged songcraft. Such independently released albums as Bullseye, Party On the Pier, Train to the Empress and JJ Instrumental have won her considerable critical acclaim, as well as an enviable reputation amongst her musical peers.
“People have said that I have a knack for balancing darkness and light, and I think I’d agree with that,” Jenny notes. “In fact, that pretty much describes me as a person. I like songs that are musically complex and lyrically truthful. I’m big on melody and harmony, but none of that matters without a meaningful message. Writing comes naturally, so I’ve learned to respect that process and let it happen. I’ve learned from experience that overthinking can wreck a song.”
Born in the small town of Sayre, Oklahoma, Jenny’s passion for music emerged early in life, when she began playing the family piano by ear at the age of three. She pursued her muse in earnest after her family relocated to British Columbia, becoming a church organist when she was seven and subsequently studying at the Conservatory of Music in Victoria. When she reached college age, Jenny’s talents earned her the opportunity to spend a summer studying at the Conservatory of Music in St. Petersburg, Russia. That experience proved to be a life-changing one, broadening her outlook and sharpening her musical skills.
Jenny graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance, before spending some time teaching at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona and pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education at Northern Arizona University.
Now, with an impressive body of work already under her belt, Jenny Jarnagin is excited to be launching a new chapter of her musical life.
“The album I’m working on now is going to be a little different,” she asserts. “I wanted more uptempo, driving beats and songs with strong grooves. The production is traditional instruments mixed with modern electronic sounds, but the common thread is my vocal style and my quirky chord changes. Unlike my other albums, this one has been recorded slowly, a song or two at a time—the first seven tracks took a year. That was not the initial plan, but after hearing and loving the new production of the first completed track, I was inspired to explore some new options.”
“I’m always writing and I’m completely in love with the recording process,” Jenny concludes. “I’m addicted to seeing and hearing songs come to life because you can never be sure how they will turn out. It all boils down to passion and the drive to remain authentic and inspired.”