It is with deep shock and sadness that we report the unexpected passing of Debra Mann, an acclaimed and supremely talented jazz singer, pianist and composer on our Whaling City Sound label. Her most recent recording, Full Circle, featuring the music of Joni Mitchell, was released in August 2018. She had also released three CD recordings on her label, Jobe Records.

Her career was decorated with highlights. A Berklee grad, Debra was widely hailed as Rhode Island’s premier jazz pianist and vocalist. She performed at Symphony Hall in Boston as a featured guest soloist with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She had the distinct honor of performing at the request of Frank Sinatra. In celebration of Women’s History Month, she performed with her trio on Ron Dellachiesa’s WGBH radio program “Music America.” She was a prized member of the regional jazz community, having shared the stage with artists including Dick Johnson, Herb Pomeroy, Gray Sargent, Marshall Wood, Ted Casher, Jeff Stout, Ed Saindon, and many others. Dino Govoni, Jay Azzolina, Dave Zinno, Marty Richards, Jerry Leake and Paul Angel joined her on our Full Circle release.

She was also a passionate educator, on the faculty of Brown University and Wheaton College.

We at Whaling City Sound, along with the music community, will miss Debra’s extraordinary and elegant musical voice. We mourn deeply her passing and extend our sympathy to her family and friends.

Providence Journal Legacy obituary link



Review: By New York City Jazz Record ,pg. 11 November 2018
WCS 109 Full Circle
Debra Mann

Rhode Island-based Debra Mann, who credits Mitchell’s work as the inspiration for her own career in jazz, is the most recent singer to launch a Mitchell tribute disc. The album, Full Circle: The Music of Joni Mitchell (Whaling City Sound) tackles a dozen of Mitchell’s better-known tunes (“Circle Game”, “Big Yellow Taxi”, “A Case Of You”); Mann’s fresh arrangements and expert phrasing provide a new context for the material, even as the singer references Mitchell’s own unique vocal sound. With this album Mann joins the ranks of singers offering compelling, definitive interpretations of The Mitchell Songbook

Review: By Midwest Book Review , September 2018
WCS 109 Full Circle
Debra Mann

In the album Full Circle: The Music of Joni Mitchell, music artist Debra Mann celebrates Mitchell's 75 years of life. Performing interpretations of Mitchell's music with a jazz quintet, Full Circle is a smooth, sensuous treasure, highly recommended for connoisseurs of the genre, gift-giving, and public library collections. The tracks are "Black Crow", "Jericho", "Be Cool", "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", "Both Sides Now", "The Circle Game", "Big Yellow Taxi", "Blue", "A Case of You", "Dry Cleaner from Des Moines", "Urge for Going", and "Woodstock".

Review: By Midwest Record , August 2018
WCS 109 Full Circle
Debra Mann

Mann comes out hard and heavy channeling jazz period Joni Mitchell on this tribute to the iconic artist of her generation. Making the right tent pole choices as well as some nice out of the ordinary choices, her Mitchell leaning vibe almost makes this feel like a Mitchell album you missed. The backing crew knows how to bring their LA Express best and none of it feels derivative. This is a fine example of what happens when you aim high.