Elisabeth's musical travels initiated in the Netherlands, where she was born and raised. As a child she was surrounded by art and music: her father was a musician in his spare time and her mother was a passionate painter. At the age of twelve Elisabeth received her first guitar and began writing songs, inspired by the great American songwriters of the seventies.
The enticing songs by bands such as The Eagles, The Doors, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, provided the spark that unbridled her fantasies about traveling to America with a guitar slung over her shoulder. At the age of eighteen her dream came true when her parents bought her an airplane ticket to the US as a high school graduation gift. For two years she went back and forth between Europe and the US. She traveled from Alaska to the Southwest, playing at clubs and developing hers skills as an illustrator.
Elisabeth was (and still is) always divided between her two great passions: visual art and music. Upon her return to Europe she initially made a living as a free-lance illustrator for book publishers and advertising agencies in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy – where she took up residence in 1982. In 1992 she made a radical career change by signing a contract with a Dutch booking agent to work as a vocalist at luxury resorts around the world. In 2002, after ten years of touring Europe, The Middle East, and Asia, she settled down in Italy and took a sabbatical year to work on her visual art and to compose new music. During that year she wrote the songs for her debut album, So Cool, and formed a band to bring her own compositions and jazz standards.
Elisabeth quickly made a name for herself on the Italian live jazz scene. She played at music clubs, concert halls, and festivals across the country, backed by some of the most prominent Italian jazz musicians (Fabrizio Bosso, Lino Brotto, Federico Malaman, Stefano Paolini, Paolo Ghetti, Bruno Cesselli, Mattia Martorano, Massimo Manzi, Mauro Beggio, Edu Hebling, etc.). In 2004 she participated in the finals of the Dutch Jazz Competition, in duo with virtuoso jazz guitarist Lino Brotto.
In 2006 her album, So Cool, was released under the Italian label MpRecords and was widely acclaimed by critics. During that same year she was asked by Brotto to perform as a guest vocalist on his live album, Zooga Jazz 2, on which she sang a heartfelt version of “The Nearness of You” and two of her originals, “Montezuma Street” and “If It’s True (What They Say About Me),” with Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet and Robert Bonisolo on tenor sax.
She also collaborated with the Nu-Jazz formation “Aaron Tesser and the New Jazz Affair” on two of their albums, Children, and Lookin’ Ahead, as a songwriter as well as a vocalist.
In 2008 the Vicenza Accademia Musicale proposed a recording, sponsored by the City of Schio, of Elisabeth’s new compositions to be arranged for string orchestra and jazz quartet. Renowned pianist/arranger Bruno Cesselli, among others, offered to arrange “The Warmth of Your Smile” and “Come and Carry Me Away,” and Elisabeth herself arranged “A Truly Noble Cause.” The album, entitled Preface to a Dream, (read review on All About Jazz) was recorded live at a music hall and released by the Accademia Musicale in 2009. In 2012 it was re-released under the Roman label Terresommerse.
Elisabeth has released her third solo album of originals, Looking In From the Outside, in December, 2016.
The album was recorded in Treviso, Italy, at the Imputlevel Studio, and mixed and mastered at Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO.
Mattia Martorano: violin, Bruno Cesselli: piano, Alessandro Turchet: bass.
Elisabeth Geel plays Alhambra and Roberto Canova guitars.
To view Elisabeth's art, visit www.birdinyardwitheye.com