Gloria West is a new transplant on the Key West music scene and has adapted her signature sound to the island in the form of “old school jazz with an island twist!”
Since moving to the island, West has now added in a Latin, flowy flavor to her favorite old jazz songs from the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, even mixing in some operatic scatting. In February, she won “Rising Star” at the 2023 Key West Iggy Music Awards and is currently working on a side project involving a ukulele, a mermaid tail, and poolside shows around the island!
Before moving down to Key West in July of 2022, and also before unsuccessfully attempting to retire from music in 2021, Gloria West and The Gents brought old school stride-swing jazz with a sultry twist to stages across Tampa Bay, including The Clearwater Jazz Holiday, The St. Pete Coliseum, The Palladium St. Pete, and The Tampa Theatre. From classic mid-tempo swing-dancing numbers to sultry torch songs on the edge of the blues, their fast-paced high-energy and Gloria’s ‘killer vocals’ could get anyone’s foot tapping. Creative Loafing said about Gloria, “One of the most dynamic voices working in the [Tampa] Bay area.”
Her acclaimed group performed throughout the Tampa Bay area, beginning in 2014, and was described as “pure, tight, sensual artistry”. Gloria West and The Gents performed “stunning originals” with Ms. West delivering a “star-powered voice” with “vocals reminiscent of Lady Day”. Gloria had been compared to Norah Jones and Billie Holiday with the lighthearted fun of “Mrs. Swing” Mildred Bailey added in.
Her mission is to create and share #JazzForTheMasses and to spread her love of jazz to everyone, making it #TheJazzHeardRoundTheWorld. That includes introducing brand new audiences to jazz who had little knowledge of it, and even bringing others around who don’t know about it’s amazing roots. Gloria says, “I want to create jazz in an accessible way where everyone can understand and appreciate its broad appeal.”
Gloria West and The Gents released their debut album “Dem Keys” in 2017 to rave local reviews. In December 2018, they released it as a deluxe edition with three bonus songs on a Collector’s Edition Red Vinyl Record and CD. It is also available on all major platforms for streaming and downloading and is currently making its way around the world. The project was fully fan-funded and recorded in Tampa Bay with top-notch local musicians and is comprised of original songs as well as old jazz and pop covers with their distinct vintage spin.