January 20th, 2020 8:30pm Stage 3
What matters most to Ren Geisick is music’s capacity to tell a story. Her driving force is evoking emotion through the medium of song. Most easily perceivable in Ren’s music are the influences of jazz and Americana, but her multifaceted vocal delivery defies any one genre.
Surrounded by the music of Patsy Cline and Frank Sinatra in her childhood home in San Jose, California, Ren developed her love for singing at an early age. It wasn’t until enrolling at CSU Long Beach that Ren began studying jazz music in earnest. She honed her skills in the genre over the course of several performances and recitals. After graduating, Ren remained in Long Beach around ten months as a freelancer, then embarked upon an adventurous cruise ship gig. Both experiences helped her refine her voice and style for her eventual return to the Bay Area.
When Ren returned to San Jose, she began regularly attending jam sessions at local clubs like Cafe Stritch, where she met musicians who would become her mentors, and eventually, her band. Guided by the first-call South Bay rhythm section Jason Lewis and John Shifflett, she gained the necessary experience and skills to lead a band and perform her own arrangements. In 2014, Ren arranged a collection of Nina Simone’s music for an electrifying tribute performance at Blackbird Tavern. Shortly after, Ren met local pianist Jon Dryden, and the duo began arranging and recording classic country tunes to rediscover their love for the genre.
Between performing and recording, Ren finds time to teach the next generation of vocalists at San Jose State. Since fall 2016, she has been mentoring a steadily growing studio. Ren always emphasizes the importance of storytelling through performance.
Ren’s latest album, Ren, Love Song, is a manifestation of her Americana roots that is decidedly personal yet universally relatable. Borrowing elements of jazz, blues, and country, Ren delivers heartfelt performances of original music and reimagined classics. Collaborating with producer Jesse Harris and top-notch studio personnel, Ren crafts an album that blurs the lines between Americana and jazz. Never one to remain confined by a single genre, Ren flows seamlessly from a carefree country shuffle to an introspective ballad. What remains consistent throughout is her intimate lyrical delivery and vibrant energy.
As a crowd-funded album, Ren, Love Song truly took a village to create. Ren wants to thank everyone in her community for their continued support and enthusiasm throughout the process.