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Jenna Mammina
Origin St. Joseph, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Jazz, pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Labels Mamma Grace

Jenna Mammina is a jazz/pop singer originally from St. Joseph, Michigan but based in the San Francisco bay area since 1986.



Mammina was born in St. Joseph, Michigan,[1] and began singing as a child, singing in church from the age of five, and appearing in school musicals.[2] In her teens she learned piano and guitar and performed with local bands.[2] She attended Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Laney College in Oakland, before settling in San Francisco.[2]

After session work with The Spinners and Narada Michael Walden,[1] Mammina has gone on to record five albums, all released on her own label, Mamma Grace.[2] She performs as often as 250 times a year, and has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Bobby Watson, Nancy King, Andy Narell, and Steve Coleman.[2] Derk Robertson, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, picked her debut album, Under the Influence, at number nine in his top albums of that year.[3] Her second album, Meant to Be, was nominated for a California Music Award in the 'Outstanding jazz album' category.[4]

Mammina is also a music educator, running workshops titled 'Scat for Cats' and 'So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star' in schools and universities.[2]

Musical style

Mammina combines together folk music, pop, and jazz, often performing with guitarist Andre Bush. She covers a wide range of music including songs ranging from Abbey Lincoln (her mentor) to Elvis Costello, U2, and Tom Waits, as well as original compositions.[2][1][5] Her voice has variously been described as "sweet and flexible",[6] "whisper-like" with "air-brushed phrasings and silky nuance",[7] and "tiny, thinnish, high-pitched".[8]

Mammina herself says of her style:

"I don't want to categorize the music. It's not that I don't know who I am. I don't sing classical, and I'm not a soul singer, or an R&B singer, but I have been influenced by that stuff too. I can sing a Patsy Cline tune, a James Taylor tune or a Led Zeppelin tune, but I do it with my own flair."[9]


  • Under the Influence (1999)
  • Just a Little Bit (2000)
  • Meant to Be (2001)
  • Art of the Duo (2003)
  • Inner Smile (2005)


External links

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