When it comes to the local music scene, Claudia Jacobs is a name you may have heard before.
Not only has the singer-songwriter performed with her band from Long Island to New York City, but she has also lent her talents to Paradiddle Records compilation CDs celebrating the likes of The Kinks and Bob Dylan. She was also one of the creators of the , which debuted in October in Three Village.
A Three Village resident for more than 20 years, Jacobs lives in Stony Brook with her husband, Dan Dunmire, and her three children, Arianna, 19, Zoe, 17, and Sam, 11. In addition to making music she is also a doula, meaning she coaches pregnant women through the natural childbirthing process. At age 48, Jacobs is now in the process of recording her first full-length album with her band, which, by the way, will appear tonight at Grounds & Sounds at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook. To launch our new series "100 People You Should Know in Three Village," we had the chance to chat with Jacobs this week.
Patch: How did you get your start in music?
CJ: I was raised with music. My parents were big fans of different styles of music. My father, folk music. My mom, folk music, but also show music and opera. I got my first guitar when I was 11, and I wrote my first song then, too. … I wrote for a little while and stopped. In my early 20s I was part of the Greenwich Village Fast Folk scene. It was a community of songwriters sharing their songwriting and they had a magazine. It really launched a lot of big folk stars. Shawn Colvin started there, Christine Lavin. They were the folk musicians banding together and trying to promote their own work rather than going through the record companies. But I guess that my parents got me started.
Patch: Tell us about the album your band is working on.
CJ: My CD should be coming out late spring, early summer. The working title is "Rally On." ... We just started to work with Bob Stander in Huntington. He used to work with Electric Lady studios. He’s got really good ears, so we’re going to finish up the record with him. It’s really going to be my first full-length album. We put out an EP so we had something to put out for the fans when I was opening for Richie Havens a few years ago. Everything I do is sort of informed by soul or blues. One [song] will sound funky-jazzy, one will sound straightahead country-folk, one will sound bluesy-Americana. It’s a mixture. It’s going to span many years of writing.
Patch: What will we see Friday night at the Grounds & Sounds show?
CJ: There will be four of us. I’m a songwriter. I’m the lead singer. I do all my own music and I play guitar. We have Greg Galluccio on guitar, vocals, and Dr. Dan Weymouth as our keyboard and organ player. James Hubbard on trombone. Sometimes we play with a drummer, a bass player, but I actually prefer keeping it small, personal.
Patch: In your experience, what kind of relationship does Three Village have with the arts?
CJ: There’s a lot of supporters of the arts, for sure. There’s talented people as well. ... I think having the nearby helps with that. There’s not a whole lot of venues. The Grounds & Sounds café has filled a gap with that in this area. There’s no other venue in the Three Village area where they’re producing quality performers in a café setting where people go to hear the music. That’s a really special venue for artists.
Patch: What do you like about living in Three Village?
CJ: I was born on the north shore. ... When we were looking for homes, that was just the topography that we loved. I was born near the water and I have a real connection with the water. I love trees and the change in elevation. I think Three Village really echoes sort of in its own miniature way the northeast, as in Massachusetts and Maine. Its big, beautiful trees and hills and water. It’s just beautiful. I don’t think there’s much more of a beautiful place on Long Island.
Visit Claudia Jacobs online at her website, http://www.claudiajacobs.com, or check out the band at on Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m.