Dynamic, contemporary jazz vocal trio The Hot Mammas make magical music brimming with crystal-clear harmonies, rollicking rhythms and saucy, sweltering sound. The group is ignited by the larger-than-life personalities and synergy of seasoned entertainers and long-time friends Georgina Arntzen, Julie Brown and Mary Ella Young. Together, they channel divine, infectious joy into fearless live performances that feature glamorous outfits and the same intricate arrangements of favorite standards and original tunes that make their recordings shine. Often accompanied on stage by a band fully stocked with Vancouver’s most talented instrumentalists, the trio’s members use their songs to share their personal experiences as mothers, wives, sisters and lovers keen on celebrating the story of strong women in all their glory through song. Inspired by the energy and artistry of trailblazing ladies like The Boswell Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald and The Andrews Sisters; The Hot Mammas are the whole shebang – a delicious, all-you-can-eat feast for the eyes and ears.
Julie and Georgina laid the foundation for The Hot Mammas while singing in a Vancouver gospel choir in 2004. Hell-bent on developing a project together that would mingle their love of jazz with their sassy sensibilities, they began tossing around ideas for a vocal harmony group. Georgina asked the question, “Who wants to hear a bunch of old ladies sing?” Julie was adamant: “We’re not old ladies … we’re Hot Mammas!” Hoping to meet their perfect third, the pair joined a local Broadway choir, where they found experienced musical theater mamma, Mary Ella. The three clicked personally and professionally, bonded by their love of life and their individual entertainment career trajectories. Their creative chemistry quickly gave birth to a full repertoire of arrangements of “Mammafied” classic tunes and new songs.
All three Mammas come from an extensive performing arts background that has spanned decades. Originally from Montreal, Julie began her career as an entertainer at age 11 on a children’s show, then later enjoyed a 21-year run as a radio broadcaster, singer and actress throughout Canada. Georgina is from Regina, Saskatchewan and has performed regularly throughout venues in Vancouver, New York City, Las Vegas and throughout North America. She has also appeared on CBC, CTV and as part of a national HBO special, along with touring with the Canadian Armed Forces. Born in Arkansas, Mary Ella has a BFA in musical theater from Stephens College and also worked in Los Angeles as a professional singer and actress, performing in many musicals, films and television productions. Their ability to glow as individuals in the spotlight in their own skin makes their collective light bright as they continue to evolve with The Hot Mammas as artists and women.
The Hot Mammas are known for dazzling and electric interpretations of jazz standards and traditional pop goodies, like Sincerely, Lollipop and Mr. Sandman. The group also collaborates on original songs, such as Fish Hut and their theme, The Hot Mammas Song, which tells their collective tale. The ensemble has released two full-length albums, The Hot Mammas; Hot Mammas, Yeah! as well as a special Christmas album, A Smokin’ Hot Christmas with The Hot Mammas & Friends. While their flawless, innovative harmonies take shape during rehearsal, they often work with accomplished jazz pianist and arranger Miles Black, who generously offers up technical support and additional musical ideas.
The Mammas perform regularly with the best musicians in Vancouver, including musical director Tom Arntzen, who shines on feature songs and provides expert accompaniment to the group. The trio has appeared at a wide range of Vancouver spots, including downtown’s Robson Square, Frankie’s Jazz Club and at jazz vespers throughout the lower mainland. The Hot Mammas also have an on-going engagement at The Sylvia Hotel, an iconic landmark in Vancouver’s West End, which draws a sizable crowd and gives them an on-going opportunity to experiment with new repertoire.
Verifiable renaissance women; Julie, Georgina and Mary Ella dreamed up the fun-filled live revue shows, On The Air: A Musical Revue and its holiday version, Christmas On The Air: A Musical Revue, the latter of which provided the material for the Hot Mammas’ Christmas album. The revue has been around for seven years, touring theatres throughout the lower mainland, and was created, written and directed by the three ladies. The cast includes The Hot Mammas and some of Vancouver’s finest talent; as well as Canada’s Music Hall of Famer DJ Red Robinson and and CBC’s morning man Rick Cluff. Performers dance and sing their way from the 20s through the 60s with a historic flare.
The Hot Mammas will continue to bring a spirit of gratitude, positivity and deep love for music to everything they do.