Vocalist Hazel Mitchell-Bell is one of Washington, D.C.'s first ladies of jazz. Following her highly praised 2018 recording, Stronger Than Ever,
she released Sack Full of Dreams in May 2021. She appears on festival, concert and club stages, enjoying one sellout after another. Working closely with pianist and Music Director Vince Evans, she performs and records with orchestras, big bands and smaller ensembles, stoking the fires of the D.C. jazz scene.
The two have worked together since 2016. Stronger Than Ever features standards from the Great American Songbook and R&B hits backed by an 11-piece orchestra. The indie album enjoyed 12 weeks on the Roots Music Report Top 50 Jazz Chart, peaking at #12. Robert Rusch of Cadence Magazine calls her voice: “fresh and compelling and gripping.” Jim Hynes of Making a Scene calls her “one of the most impressive vocalists to enter this incredibly competitive arena of jazz vocalists.”
Sack Full of Dreams reflects a heightened level of artistry and broadening of repertoire for Mitchell-Bell, whose influences include Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and Phyllis Hyman. Twelve tracks feature her interpretations of jazz, blues and R&B tunes made famous by such artists as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Luther Vandross, complemented with a touch of Broadway repertoire. Writing for L.A. Jazz Scene, Scott Yanow calls it “an excellent CD.” Chris Spector of Midwest Record summarizes the project as having: “top shelf jazz vocal, with a top shelf crew in tow. Solid.”
The stunning songstress is a favorite at Blues Alley and other top clubs in the nation’s capital. She has also appeared at the Kennedy Center, Montpelier Art Center, Keystone Korner, Preservation Jazz Festival, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and Sheldon Cultural Center in St. Louis. She has thrilled standing room only audiences at D.C.’s City Winery and received standing ovations at such spots as the Westminster Jazz Night series. In Fall of 2023, she embarks on her first South American tour returning just in time for a featured performance at the Annapolis Jazz & Roots Festival.