Jazz singer in Valley

Her voice is a versatile instrument that adapts to fit the needs of the song she's singing. Voted the Northwest's best jazz vocalist four times, Greta Matassa is one of the region's premier singers. On Sunday, March 11, she headlines the Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live concert at Mount Si High School.

The award-winning Mount Si Jazz Band will open the show, with Matassa singing as the group's vocalist.

Critics have favorably compared Matassa's vocal talents to legendary jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Ernestine Anderson and Dianne Shurr, people Matassa grew up listening to and enjoying. Her love of jazz started early.

"Growing up, my parents were big jazz fans and we had a lot of jazz music around the house," Matassa said. "They were happy to encourage my interest in music. My father is a visual artist, and we used to spend hours talking about abstract expressionism and how that related to jazz."

Matassa's fascination with songs began early. Her family moved frequently when she was small, but by the time she entered middle school, they had settled on Bainbridge Island. She dropped out of school in high school to begin a professional singing career, but it took several years of singing with heavy metal bands and at weddings in the early 1980s before she began to get known among regional jazz professionals.

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