KJ Denhert's Debut Album for Motema Records

With a genre-transcending sound blending "urban folk, " jazz, funk, R&B and neo-soul, award-winning, New York City-bred and based singer-songwriter and master guitarist KJ Denhert has amassed a loyal following through her series of acclaimed self-released albums and powerful live shows. Recently signed to Motema Music, KJ Denhert's debut for the label - in association with her own Mother Cyclone Records imprint - is the new album "LUCKY 7, " slated for release May 27, 2008. The disc is an enhanced CD featuring twelve songs, including eleven originals, plus videos of KJ and her longtime band, the super-tight NY Unit.

Motema Music, with offices in San Francisco and NYC, is the brainchild of musician, entrepreneur and label President Jana Herzen, who has said about KJ, "I feel like I discovered an English-speaking 'Buena Vista Social Club' hiding under a rock in New York City. This act is fully formed and primed to win hearts worldwide." Herzen's sentiment is underscored by Performing Songwriter's comment that, "KJ Denhert is so full of a love for life that you hear it in her voice, her lyrics and the exuberant beats of her songs."

"LUCKY 7" thoroughly radiates KJ Denhert's irrepressible spirit, soulful voice, emotionally intelligent lyrics and impeccable musicianship. Denhert also produced the album - appropriately, her seventh - and enlisted keyboardist Bennett Paster to co-produce several tracks (they first collaborated at the 2006 Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, where KJ has played four times and will return for a record-breaking 5th this summer). "LUCKY 7" was recorded and mixed by engineer/producer Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn,
Jonatha Brooke, Diana Krall, Patty Larkin, etc.), and benefits from his skill at adding a pop sheen to vocals while at the same time heightening the singer's individuality and authenticity.

The album reflects Denhert's diverse influences, including Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Sergio Mendes, Laura Nyro, Roberta Flack and Steely Dan. Shades of these icons echo through her songs, but KJ's own confidence, clarity and humor herald the arrival of a powerful and distinctive new artist. Highlights include the funky opener "Little Problems, " the heartbreaker "He's Not Coming Home, " the eloquent three-part suite "What's My Name" and KJ's haunting, unaccompanied performance of "Sad Song." The album's one cover, an intimate and deeply creative interpretation of "Over The Rainbow, " is a fan favorite at shows. The soulful title track, another stand-out, is infused with the sense of hard-earned good fortune that defines this career moment for KJ - "I do feel on the verge of something more, " she says.

Looking ahead, that something more also includes continuing a decade-long residency every other Saturday night at storied prohibition-era Greenwich Village venue 55 Bar (, where she regularly plays to packed houses. In July, KJ and The NY Unit - plus ace saxophonist Aaron Heick, who's been sitting in often of late - will return to the prestigious Umbria Jazz Festival; other festival slots will be announced shortly. In the Fall, Motema is slated to release a live album of KJ recorded at the band's Winter 2007 Umbria Festival appearance and on St. Barths (where she has another ongoing, seasonal residency at the Baz Bar).

With a full calendar of live dates and the release of her Motema Music debut album "LUCKY 7, " KJ Denhert is clearly on a winning streak and poised to break through to a broader fan base.

Led by a team of music industry veterans and grounded in Herzen's own artistic connection to genre-defying music, Motema Music is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Red Eye. The label is also home to jazz, world, urban and folk artists including Lynne Arriale, Roni Ben Hur, Pete Levin, Amy London and Marc Cary.

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