Erin Bode (her surname is pronounced as two syllables, each with long vowels) is a singer who is comfortable mixing jazz standards with well-known pop tunes and classics from the Great American Songbook in a typical performance.
The daughter of a Lutheran pastor who was raised in a musical household in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Bode sang in a church choir as a teenager before discovering jazz and big-band music while in high school in St. Louis. She also studied trumpet and participated in theater, eventually deciding to pursue a music degree. Starting at the University of Minnesota, she transferred back to the more intimate setting of Webster University in St. Louis, where she benefited from the tutelage of jazz pianist and singer Christine Hitt. She joined the jazz vocal ensemble at Webster and also sat in with Hitt during the pianist's local gigs at her instructor's invitation. Bode earned her degree in music and foreign languages, remaining in St. Louis to play engagements in the area. Following the release of a self-produced CD (Requests) in 2001, which included a locally popular version of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," her career took off. Receiving heavy local airplay, she was signed to the St. Louis- based Maxjazz label, which released her CD Don't Take Your Time in 2004, and included an updated version of "Time After Time" that was inspired by the late singer Eva Cassidy. This CD gave her much greater national exposure. Erin Bode has frequently been compared by critics and jazz radio hosts to both Cassidy and the young jazz superstar Norah Jones for her willingness to explore a wide range of material in a fresh, often subtle manner. ~ Ken Dryden