Opie Bellas: a jazz singer from the old school
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What the Critics Say



SF Chronicle | Contra Costa Times | Cadence | Cabaret Scenes | Cape Times

"A great performer in her prime...do yourself a favor and make an effort to track her down."

Jazz Times Magazine - America's Jazz Magazine
Christopher Louden


"Bellas phrases from the heart. A gifted
storyteller worthy of more recognition."

Backstage Magazine, New York - named "Live For Life" as one of the Top Releases of the year.
John Hoglund


"A sexy voice, impeccable taste and rare musical instinct add up to make Opie Bellas a jazz singer to treasure. Best of all is the unmistakable impression she leaves that there is always more where that came from."

San Francisco Chronicle
Octavio Roca

"The first time I heard Opie Bellas sing, I demanded to know where she had been all my life. With a sophisticated, honey-warm jazz sound like Bellas—and phrasing that would have made Ella nod in admiration—why had I never heard of this woman? A year from now, If you're left out of all the Opie Bellas buzz, you'll have only yourself to blame." —More

San Francisco Chronicle
Stephanie Salter


Sometimes it feels like the Bay Area's primary export is music, particularly vocalists who perform all over the world but infrequently play at home. Opie Bellas, a Bay Area treasure, makes a rare hometown appearance on Monday at Yoshi's, having recently returned from a repeat engagement in Cape Town. —More

Contra Costa Times
Andrew Gilbert


Visiting singer Opie Bellas brings her smoky jazz tones to the Winchester Mansion's regular jazz platform. —More

Cape Times
Jane Mayne

"Every chance taken, every daring intervallic leap, is carried off with seemingly no effort, even though it feels like she's rock skipping across a wild river." —More

The Review of Jazz & Blues Creative Improvised Music
Alan Bargebuhr


"There is, in every writer of words and music, a silent prayer that a singer will pick up his song and find a way to make the words and music live for the listener. Opie does that. She makes you listen. She's not just singing. She's sitting beside you, whispering in your ear."

Arthur Hamilton
Composer/lyricist of "Cry Me A River"


"Opie Bellas make such an instant emotional connection with her songs that it's hard not to be moved when she sings. At the same time, her voice has a musicality so innate, that she never has to strain to prove it"

James Gavin
The author of Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker, is writing a biography of Lena Horne for Simon & Schuster.


"Opie Bellas knows what to sing and how to sing it! If you thought you've heard "Lazy Afternoon," "Born to be Blue," "Fever" think again.... Opie puts the classic "Fever" smack dab in the middle of the jazz idiom, with her unique and compelling arrangement."

Melanie Berzon
Program Director/Host KCSM-FM 91.1
San Francisco


"The tenderness and passion Opie Bellas imbues in the opening Since You Stayed Here sets the tone for Live For Life, a simply wondrous and imaginative collection of nine familiar songs that sound anything but in Bellas' alluring interpretations and an original work that sends one searching for the socks that have been knocked off - only after the tears have been wiped away. Live For Life is a work that reaches deep into your soul and ranks as one of the year's finest creations..." —More

Cabaret Scenes Magazine
Jeff Rossen


"With burnished, vibrant timbre reminiscent of Joni James and Chris Connor, Bellas wraps her smoky voice around (her) material."

Napa Valley Register
L. Pierce Carson

"Opie's voice is true and clear. She has a strong sense of phrasing !hat artfully communicates the lyric. This is evident in her interpretation of "Midnight Sun." You easily understand the emotion behind the lyric. My listeners love it! As a matter of fact, when I play anything from her release "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" the phone begins to ring before I have a chance to back announce the tune!"

Jayne Sanchez
KCSM FM 91.1 Jazz Oasis


"Listening to Opie Bellas makes me relax in the knowledge that I'm hearing mastery. With all respect to the masters of voice and something new, fresh and exciting at the same time."

Mark Little
Two-Time Grammy Nominee
Cleo Lane / John Dankworth


"Fast rising to a preeminent rank in the hierarchy of jazz vocalists. A Jazz singer from the old school, Bellas doesn't mess around with chichi vocal embroidery. She sings, the lyrics pure and simple in a warm, seasoned voice that's assured, in total control. and backed by impeccable phrasing.

San Francisco Bay Times
Gene Price


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