"Rooker's Talent is in the genes"
Interview by Tad Dickens - Roanoke Times
For a jazz-loving father, it was a dream come true -- two daughters onstage together at New York's iconic jazz nightspot, Blue Note Jazz Club.
The father: Greg Rooker of Radford. The daughters: Stephanie and Jen Rooker, now of Brooklyn, N.Y. The project: Stephanie Rooker's band, which combines soul, R&B, reggae, funk and jazz into a tasty stew steeped in Stephanie's songs and vocals and Jen's harmonies.
It was a hard, cold winter's night in the city, but the band had a packed house, including father Greg and mother Fran. The Rooker sisters were a little intimidated -- it was their first time playing the Blue Note, after all.
"In the end, we just got up and did our thing, and it went really well," said Stephanie Rooker, who opens for Rene Marie on Friday night at Jefferson Center.
What happened later added more layers of goodness.
"My dad said to me at the end that he was just blown away, because he used to go up to the Blue Note back in the day, and listen to different cats blow," Rooker said. "And then there he was sitting there, watching his two daughters onstage. He said it was really just pretty overwhelming."
It won't be the last time. The club has asked the band to come back again at the end of August, she said.
It's been steady work for Rooker, 27, and her group as it builds a touring resume -- including a tight and grooving early-morning set at last year's Floyd-Fest. This year, the band is booked for two FloydFest sets, Rooker said.
Rooker has written and co-written an album's worth of new songs and has plans to record her second CD this summer.
She said she is looking forward to performing on the same show with Marie. Rooker said a friend told her last year to go check out Marie, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
"I was blown away," Rooker said. "She was very unique. Very herself. She was very edgy and spunky. ... She just really brought it and did her thing, and it was all straight from the heart."
Launch Related Site to hear Podcast Interview --->