The pairing of jazz vocalist Petra van Nuis and guitarist Andy Brown is one of those rare combinations where all parts seem to fit. As high school sweethearts at a performing arts school in Cincinnati Ohio, Petra and Andy grew up together as artists. After following separate creative paths for a few years (she as a dancer and he as a blues guitarist), they fell under the spell of local jazz artists in Petra’s home town of Cincinnati. Guitar legends Cal Collins and Kenny Poole influenced Andy, while Petra was inspired by the late Ann Chamberlain, a remarkable and unheralded jazz singer.
After a brief stint in New York City, the married couple settled in Chicago in 2004. In addition to regular Chicago appearances at the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase and Andy’s Jazz Club, Petra and Andy appear nationally at jazz festivals including the Cleveland Classic Jazz Party, the Roswell Jazz Festival and the Chautauqua Jazz Party where they share the stage with such swing luminaries as Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton, Rossano Sportiello, Hod O’Brien, Dan Barrett, John Di Martino, Warren Vache and others.
Internationally, the duo tours Canada and Europe where their eighteen year musical collaboration has been heralded by Germany’s Jazzpodium Magazine as “a magical musical dialogue, which can only be partially described as blind understanding.”
Back home, Petra has fronted her popular Chicago-style Recession Seven band for a decade. The band features mainstream veteran horn-men Eric Schneider, Russ Phillips, and Bob Ojeda. “Live In Chicago” (2012), an on-location recording, beautifully captures their brand of hot swing which has been enjoyed at regional jazz societies and the Chicago Jazz Festival.
A top-call sideman as well as leader, Andy is a Delmark recording artist. He has released three CDs for the label beginning with “Heavy Artillery” (2013), which showcases his ongoing collaboration with virtuoso guitarist Howard Alden. Andy’s latest CD “Direct Call” (2016), grew out of his continuing weekly quartet residency at Andy’s Jazz Club (no relation). Andy’s most acclaimed Delmark recording, “Soloist” (2015) highlights his unique brand of fingerstyle solo guitar. A You Tube video of Andy’s CD release party for this album has gone “jazz viral” among guitar aficionados reaching over 2 million views.
With the couple’s two duo CDs “Lessons Lyrical” and “Far Away Places” being re-released in Japan and used as in-flight music on All Nippon Airways (Japan’s largest airline), Petra and Andy continue to spread their swinging sounds to music lovers far and wide.