Jenie Thai is one of two acts representing the Edmonton Blues Society at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis…both are playing the Edmonton Blues Festival, Sunday August 27. Born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and raised just outside of Edmonton, Jenie Thai is building a musical presence throughout the country through the electric energy she displays on stage and the old soul that’s conveyed through her songwriting.
Raised in a musical household of six, silence was rare. Jenie’s blues and folk education began young when she fell asleep to the music her parents played while entertaining guests downstairs. Her training on the piano began at age five; she took private lessons for fifteen years. Graduating at seventeen, she continued her musical development, studying classical piano at Augustana University.
In 2008, Jenie diversified her education attending Grant MacEwan Jazz and Contemporary Music Program as a performance major. Upon graduation, Jenie was offered a part-time teaching position at Grant MacEwan University and gained acceptance into Paul McCartney’s international music school based in Liverpool.
Performing as both a solo act and with her trio, Jenie has shared her songs across the country on festival stages, in blues bars, theatres, lounges, and living rooms. Her organic and vibrant music has been unearthed through the stereos of CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, CKUA, CJSR, and other various stations from coast to coast and internationally. Jenie was nominated for several Edmonton Music Awards (2013, 2014) for “Artist To Watch” and “Female Artist of the Year”.
Vocally, she has been compared to an early Maria Muldaur but soaks in the musical influences of Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ryan Adams. A performer, song-writer, singer, and instrumentalist: Jenie Thai combines classical technique, jazz harmonics, and a life-long appreciation for blues and folk.