Contact, Bio and Promotional Information

 

For Booking and other info, MJ Torrance can be reached by emailing her at mj@mjtorrance.com  or by phone at  512-291-4683.

Click here to > Connect with MJ on Facebook

Interview November 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vh1LvueyIE

BIO

“MJ’s signature voice makes any occasion shine.”

An Austin TX veteran recording artist with 8 published CDs, MJ has lent her talents to many projects with her work featured in documentaries and countless artist CDs. She has also worked as a musical director and radio DJ. Her lullaby, Rock me ‘till the Dawn, is archived in the Brooklyn 911 memorial. No matter what life is dishing out, MJ keeps getting better at finding the bliss even in the pain, always aiming for the “Sweet Spot.”


PHOTOS

                   

 

DISCOGRAPHY
  • 2014 Liberation – MJ Torrance/Mark Epstein
  • 2014 Released – MJ Torrance
  • 2013 Sing True – MJ Torrance/Mark Epstein
  • 2010 Keys to the Sanctuary – MJ Torrance
  • 2005 Fairy Tales & Funerals – MJ Torrance
  • 2004 Here to Here – MJ Torrance
  • 2002 Beside Ourselves – Doppel Gang
  • 2001 Sparks From a Live Wire
  • 1992 Take Me Round
  • 1992 Origins of the World – Girls in the Nose

 

PROMOTIONAL INFORMATION

mj_torrance_promo_photoMJ is a monster talent – producer, recording artist, singer-songwriter. She establishes hypnotic rhythms with her piano while her thoughtful lyrics and captivating voice combine to produce a soulful, bluesy, groovy feel. And on her guitar she rocks, never forgetting her alternative rock roots as a proud part of an underground scene in Austin, TX, the “Live Music Capitol of the World.”

MJ grew up on the Texas Gulf coast and obtained a music theory degree from UT Austin. She began exploring her passion for songwriting at a little place called Chicago House where poets, performance artists, play-writes and musicians gathered to exchange ideas, talent and camaraderie. Concurrently, she fronted a premier party band with Brad Segal called Stained Glass Man, and she began touring with the all girl band Girls in the Nose. She was lucky enough to “surf” a couple of touring “waves” with the queen of indie rock, Ani Difranco, and with the recording of Take Me Round, MJ established her own rock-n-roll independence.

Torrance left Austin in 1994 on a little BMW R-65 and wound up in the Northwest. Ultimately, she ended up in Bozeman, MT where she put a lot of time in at the music library of KGLT on the MSU campus and at the home studio of Derrick Ecker. Meanwhile, MJ kept up her performance chops opening for folks such as KebMo, Richard Thompson and Steve Forbert.

Torrance began to make her way back home to Austin and met David Zajicek in 2003. Together they produced Here to Here (joined once again by Brad Segal) and Fairy Tales and Funerals (joined by Johnny Big and Arnie Yanez). In 2010, she teamed up with Chet Himes to produce Keys to the Sanctuary and her song “Rock Me till the Dawn” was archived in the Brooklyn 911 memorial. In 2012, GiTN was nominated for an Austin Hall of Fame slot.

MJ started 2013 in the studio producing a set of songs with Mark Epstein. Red Young, Rob Hooper, Jake Langley and Stuart Sullivan all pitched in to a sweet start on a new project.

While her passion is rhythm and blues, MJ is also adept at jazz standards and is available to perform for any occasion, as a solo lounge act, a full rock band, or any combo in between.

Promotional Materials:

CLICK HERE to download MJ’s Photo>>

CLICK HERE to download MJ’s Poster>>

 

BACKGROUND INFO

mj_torrance_bio_photoMJ will always be drawn to the piano. In high school she played for church and loved throwing in Led Zepplin or Rolling Stones for the offertory. She dabbled with song-writing and guitar, but entered college a chemistry major. MJ worked a couple of summers for Dow Chemical, but signs of happiness were down another road. She wrote I Feel Fine during a physics test – the tune being much better than her grade – and began to turn her focus to music.

MJ Torrance embarked on a songwriter’s dream during the mid-eighties and early nineties. While studying theory at UT she worked at the Cactus Cafe – a legendary intimate music venue. MJ started singing and playing acoustic guitar at the open mics. Then Dianne Scott introduced her to the Austin scene, in particular to Peg Miller and Glynda Cox of the Chicago House where MJ hosted open mics and SXSW singer songwriter showcases for more than four years. Sandra Martinez was always welcoming with original bands at Chances so MJ experimented with bigger productions and began recording her own works too.

MJ began touring extensively – twice on motorcycle. Ani Difranco knocked on MJ’s front door and they “Danced” across the Southwest. And Girls in the Nose was always a party, whether on the road or in town.

Her music has lead her to glaciers to complete a rhyme but no matter where MJ Torrance found herself she pushed and furthered her musicality. She has enjoyed playing shows with all kinds of performers, hosted her own radio show for seven years, produced PSA’s and became a valuable asset on many levels in the studio.

 

BANDS

Texas – ’06 – ’10

Dueling Cobras – when Johnny Big (bass player on Fairy Tales and Funerals) sidled up to MJ on keys it was always a serious rock show.

MJ amped it up in a power trio playing electric guitar with either Teri Lord or Mary Bolner on drums and Susie Martinez on bass. Her Girl Power Trio puts MJ’s music into over-drive. Sometimes you can catch Joanna Labow adding in some sweet back up vocals.

MJ y los Recliners – a lounge band. MJ on keys teamed up with some of the regular jammers from Sam’s Town Point to play her favorite composers – Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Mingus, Monk, Earl Hagen etc… Rock classics and MJ originals got thrown in the mix too. Groovy, mellow and super sweet.

Montana – ’97 – ’06

The Doppel Gang – consisted of MJ on lead guitar, Jo Flagg on rhythm guitar and percussion, and Laura Burrows adding in some back ground vocals. Jo is a most excellent songwriter. One of her songs, Yellowstone, appears on MJ’s, Sparks from a Live Wire album and Into the Blue appears on Keys to the Sanctuary. They “journeyed” more in the practice room than anything. However, when they did play out it was always pretty special. Together they produced an album called “Beside Ourselves,” a live radio recording done at the studio of KGLT on the campus of MSU. The material was mainly Jo’s epic folk tunes where you can hear her Celtic roots mixing with the vastness of Montana’s landscape.

Baby Steps – was a jazz band that played “fine music for most any occasion.” MJ played keys in this band. She played along side August Rutkowski on guitar, Melanie Rutkowski on bass clarinet and clarinet, Drew Flemming on drums and Chuck Goodwin on bass guitar. Everyone was a “Rocker” looking to expand their musical limits, and they certainly accomplished that goal. Baby Steps played a lot of memorable gigs, oft times with others members of the community sitting in as well. Exploring jazz with Baby Steps really influenced MJ’s Rock-n-Roll, making her very comfortable behind a piano for “most any occasion.”

Seattle – ’94 – ’97

MJ didn’t live in Seattle long, However, while she was there she scoured the open mic scene with her friend Ellie, a hot Mandolin player who had really big feet. They hosted their own open mic at the Wild Rose. (Being a musician, MJ has held a wide variety of jobs. One of her favorites was delivering drugs for nuns. While in Seattle MJ got to drive all along the west coast of Washington including ferry rides to some of the islands, delivering drugs to patients in their homes for a Catholic hospital.)

Texas – ’86 – ’94

Stained Glass Man – was MJ’s main project for many years in Austin Tx. She and Brad Segal explored a lot of Rock-n-Roll together and produced many a memorable show for their very dedicated fan base. This band was about getting people to dance, all night. Drummer Tim Brandt helped them out for quite awhile and guys like Paul Brown on Sax and Matt Patterson on percussion would make gigs extra special. Melanie Armstrong began to join Brad and MJ quite regularly for a very intimate trio version of SGM.

MJ started His Boy Elroy with Robby Leftwich. They had both been playing with Lisa Rhodes in the Usual Suspects but wanted to explore a more pop direction. They did mainly covers from the fifties era to begin with. As MJ concentrated more and more on song writing she began to gravitate toward all original bands which led her to join Sursum, the eventual rhythm section of which became Stained Glass Man.

MJ also played electric guitar and wrote for an incarnation of the band Girls in the Nose. Nose shows were always a really good girl party. You can still catch a reunion every now and then. Singer Kay Turner led the show with Lisa Wickware on guitar, Jean Dusablon on bass Darby Smotherman on drums and Joanna Labow with back-up vocals and percussion. Alison Strauss and Kathy Smith were the dancers for the band known as Lez Nez and they added some serious entertainment to the performances.