Maia Santell and House Blend
Maia Santell, a celebrated jazz and blues vocalist hailing from the Pacific Northwest, stands as a living legacy of Seattle's illustrious Jackson Street era of jazz and swing. Her remarkable musical lineage is deeply rooted, with her mother, father, and uncle collectively shaping the region's music scene for four remarkable decades. Maia's extraordinary talent, impeccable phrasing, and the innate warmth of her unaffected vocal style are a testament to this rich heritage. Her journey began at Seattle's Garfield High School, where she honed her craft in jazz ensembles, musicals, and dance bands. From a young age, she took center stage as the featured vocalist in John Holte's Radio Rhythm Orchestra and her uncle's cherished ensemble, The Frank Sugia Quartet.
Today, Maia Santell and her band, known as Maia Santell and House Blend, continue to captivate audiences with their effortless command of a diverse musical repertoire. Their performances effortlessly span jazz, blues, Latin, rhythm and blues, swing, big band, rock, and contemporary favorites. With a quarter-century of musical camaraderie, they have graced esteemed venues and events such as Jazz Alley, Tall Ships 2005, Jazzbones, the Gray Sky Blues Festival, Argosy Cruises, The New Orleans Creole Restaurant, Northwest Dance Network, Muckleshoot Casino, Studio 6 Ballroom, St. Michelle Wineries, and The Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival, among others.
Featuring Al Alto on guitar, Ted Dortch on saxophone, Derick Polk on bass, and Mike Slivka on drums, Maia Santell leads a performance that radiates boundless energy, captivating audiences of all ages.
House Blend's exceptional versatility has also earned them acclaim as one of the region's most sought-after swing and ballroom dance bands. Their ability to effortlessly adapt to various styles, tempos, and rhythms caters to beginners, intermediates, and even professional dance coaches. Their musical repertoire mirrors the selections made famous on the hit TV show, "Dancing with the Stars." They seamlessly weave together tunes from legends like Duke Ellington, Eric Clapton, Peggy Lee, Antonio Carlos Jobim, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Etta James, Patsy Cline, Diana Krall, Motown, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, and Ray Charles, to name just a few.
As noted by Doug Bright of Seattle's Heritage Music Review, "Maia Santell is one of the Northwest's most dynamic and refreshingly believable vocalists. Her voice is warm, clear, and natural, and totally free of contrived theatricality. She exudes the spirit of the early swing era and the vocalists of the 40's and 50's. Supported by the seasoned musicians of House Blend, she offers one of the most exhilarating sounds on the Northwest music scene."