Datri Bean plays quirky songs that are original, but feel like they are old songs. She calls her style Southern-Fried vintage folk-jazz: luscious vocals from the jazz age, a nuanced piano style, and delicate original songs of joy and vulnerability. Datri sings and plays piano, ukulele and accordion.
Additionally, Datri plays piano and ukulele and sings background vocals with Megan Mullally (Children’s Hospital, Will and Grace) and Stephanie Hunt’s (Friday Night Lights) band “Nancy and Beth.” She plays in Nick Offerman’s (Parks and Recreation) live show “American Ham.” She toured China as a vocalist with the Tapestry Dance Company, and she is the musical director for Tapestry’s 2012 show, “April Fools.” She leads, composes for, and conducts the Minor Mishap Marching Band – a 25 piece renegade circus punk brass band: Rou Bourbon meets Budapest.
How did she get here?
Datri Bean grew up in a small town in windswept Wyoming. The day her neighbors moved, they gave Datri’s mother their upright piano. Datri was five years old, and her life was forever changed by this event.
Fourteen years later, Datri stumbled into the home of an 80 year old piano teacher from Brooklyn. After an abrupt interview and audition, in which Datri nervously fumbled through the piece, Datri was accepted as a student. Datri was 19 years old, and again, her life was forever changed by this event.
This piano teacher would become one of Datri’s closest friends and would be called “Ruby,” in the title track to Datri’s recent album. Comprised of thirteen originals, these are thoughtful, vulnerable, complicated, intimate songs. In these songs, there is the unmistakeable flavor of pre-war jazz, but also klezmer, folk, pop– a quirky, modern reinvention that is a distant cousin of the work of Hoagy Carmichael and Billie Holiday, but also of Randy Newman, Tom Waits, and Andrew Bird.
Currently, Datri lives in a tiny shack in Austin, Texas with her husband, three cats, and a flock of unruly chickens. When she is not recording or touring, she is leading her “little side project”– the Minor Mishap Marching Band– a 25 piece renegade brass band, Bourbon Street meets Budapest, washboard-tuba-trombone-punk-folk: fun, loud and in the streets.
“languid melodies and sultry vocal lines… Bean’s vocals recall Billie Holiday, only with sheer joy replacing all that pain.”
– Seattle Post-Intelligencer