Jayne Kelli may only have lived four years in Florida, but she's become a familiar face in the Pinellas County music scene. The Lapeer, Mich., native plays frequently in Dunedin, and performs Friday, June 10, at the starting at 7 p.m.
Kelli hosts open mic night at The Ale and the Witch, bartends at the Hideaway Café’s jam night, and works hard for Dunedin Doggie Rescue, playing many gigs for the agency. Calling Dunedin her home away from home, Kelli plays the majority of her dates in the city at Jolli Mons. She also recently released a new album "Wake" which can be found on the Internet, including CD Baby.com.
How did you get your start with music?
“It's easy to know what you want to do with your life when you are happy being tucked away for hours doing only that. I had a slight detour away from music during the last two years of college, and one after it, working a job that was absolutely draining me. My body clued me in to what wasn't working, and I returned to what was natural for me. Music is where I can be my authentic self, for better or for worse, and it allows me to connect with other people. I don't mind taking risks to do what I love.”
Where can people hear your music?
What keeps you doing it?
“Being able to express myself through music has kept me somewhat sane. I love supporting other singer/songwriters, since I know how much it means to me on every level. I run the Wednesday night acoustic sessions at the Ale and [the] Witch in St. Pete and get to have an awesome variety of songwriters perform each week.”
What is your favorite Dunedin venue?
“There's no other place like Dunedin. It has a unique energy of its own. has become a great outdoor place to play with its fully updated stage and fun atmosphere. I've also had some intimate gigs in the lounge of the Dunedin House of Beer. People have really been interested in supporting original music. There's no greater feeling than having people sing your songs with you.”
What or who are some of your inspirations?
“I enjoyed various types of music growing up, beginning with a crush on Elton John at age 5. I listened to my parents singing John Denver and Bob Dylan, my sister cranking out Master P in the morning on the way to school and Jewel on the way back, and fell in love with Radiohead in college. When I'm in a strong writing mode, I don't listen to a lot of music at all. For the past few years, I have mainly listened to local music. We have so many talented and inspiring people here in Tampa Bay. I'm the Tuesday night bartender at The Hideaway Cafe in St. Pete, which is a great songwriter/jam night. It's a blessing to be in such a supportive and artistic community where we want each other to keep creating and succeed.”
How has social networking played a part?
“Social networking has become a vital tool for connecting to fans and letting them interact with you, see your schedule, hear music clips, and whatever else you want to share with them. Any business now needs a strong online presence. We can reach and make new fans anywhere on the globe.”
Any advice for musicians just starting out?
“I feel like I'm kind of making it up as I go along, so I'm sure there are many things I'm not doing that I could be doing. If they are just starting out here in our area, and are interested in places to play and building a local fan base, open mics can be a great way to showcase your talent, meet some people, and get booked by the owner. Having a CD to sell and give out to venues, along with other press kit items like photos, links to your online sites, live performance DVDs, etc., are great ways to get booked.”