Jennifer Greer is a multi-award-winning, self-taught singer/songwriter pianist who plays funky art-pop. Growing up in a suburb near New York City, poetry was her first love and artistic medium, though she had been singing since she was a little girl. At 25 she began to write music, being drawn to the piano like a magnet. Greer is a percussionist as she plays the piano against the voice, and a harmonist in hearing what the voice can do against the piano. Her songs stack layers of sound in ways that are delicious and endearing, funky and focused but never straightforward. Jennifer's songs run from aggressive to impressionistic. She seeks to push the boundaries of pop, by blending jazz, funk and classical "tone poem". In 2008 she co-ran a music series at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, called the Indie Music Collective. Jennifer’s first album, “Jewel Machine” (2001) won the WRSI singer/songwriter competition. In 2005 she released “the Apiary,” which got rave reviews and won Best Adult Alternative CD 2005 from the Muse’s Muse, and Best unsigned pop artist from Verbicide Magazine in 2008. She was a Finalist in the NewSong Mountain Stage competition 2010 and 2012.
Poetry was Jennifer's first love and artistic medium. She wrote steadily throughout high school and college, had several poems published, and won the National Collegiate Poetry Award her senior year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She imagined a life in language and publications.
Shortly after graduating college, a strange thing happened; she began to stop hearing words and instead began to hear melodies. She had played piano for a year or so as a little girl, so there was some sense of a thread, however tiny. For 2 years Jennifer wrote instrumental piano music of an impressionistic kind. Then, having always sang, began to write songs, and her songwriting career was launched, and Jennifer never looked back. She started taking her new songs to performing venues in New York City and upstate N.Y. That first year she won the open mic award at the legendary Towne Crier Café, and played with fellow singer/songwriters Anne Heaton, Edie Carey, Mieka Pauly, Meg Hutchinson, and others.
Needing a change from New York to a place more rural and natural, Jennifer moved to Northampton, MA in 2000, formed a trio, and began performing locally and throughout New England. There she won the WRSI singer/songwriter competition. In 2005 she moved to Cambridge, MA where she has been living and performing for the past 10 years. In 2007 she co-ran a music series at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, called the Indie Music Collective.
Jennifer’s distinctive voice—which soars from earthy and sensual to sweetly lush— was showcased in her 2nd album “the Apiary,” which critics called stunning. “The Apiary” won Best Adult Alternative CD 2005 from the Muse’s Muse and Best unsigned pop artist from Verbicide Magazine in 2008.
Jennifer released her third album, “Fistful of Stars” in February 2010. A sweeping collective of 14 songs, the album showcases Jennifer’s writing at her highest level—songs that are utterly unique and move the heart and mind passionately.
"Hey Tide”--finished in 2014 and released in 2015 was written in the aftermath of losing her partner and musical collaborator of nearly 5 years. The breakup was traumatic and knocked her into near total despair, through which she wrote her way out through song. In it she explores every side of grief: the searing pain, the anger, the acceptance, the fragile newness of hope. As she wrote the album, she began to see that a common thread held the songs together—the image of moon and tide, who were often her guide.
More than anything, although the album is about heartbreak, despair, and then recovery and the emergence of hope: it is about the power of music, and the power of art to have transformational power. Art has had this healing power since the beginning of time.
“Only after writing “Hey Tide” did I understand that power with such completeness, and that the gift I had to bring to others was universal. I had to dig more deeply than ever before as an artist, and dearly want to share this gift of song with you, just as the songs were a gift to me.”
Jennifer's songs run from aggressive to impressionistic. She seeks to push the boundaries of pop, by blending jazz, funk and classical. Her songs tend to be about outer rather than inner subjects, such as stories in the news, characters from books, as well as intimate personal experience. Getting bored with herself easily, she pushes herself and her band to be exciting and refreshing. As a performer, she exudes passion and joy that are tangible, shameless, and direct.
Jennifer says: “Ultimately, every song, no matter what the subject is about, and it is often not about me, is a process of searching for my humanity. By doing so, I seek to illuminate the humanity of others. I feel that is my job—to be a mirror for other people to think and reflect and feel joy and have understanding over what is in their own lives and imagination.”