You'll Remember April

Breakout jazz music star April Varner sets a summer release date for upcoming album.

April Varner, winner of the 2023 Ella Fitzgerald International Jazz Vocal Competition, has announced her debut album, April, due out June 28 via Cellar Music. April offers a banquet of standards and rock-era classics — all with “April” in the title — bookended by two originals: “April Blues” and “Who Let April Back Into My Dreams?”


The New York City Jazz Record has hailed the 26-year-old chanteuse as a “direct, authentic singer…”, who demonstrates “vocal dynamism… authentic jazz phrasing… electrifying numbers” and possesses a “profound command of deep scat and vocalese.” Varner has amassed several viral videos of her challenging solo transcriptions, cleverly crafted vocalizes, and acapella renditions of the Great American Songbook.


April is produced by famed drummer-producer Ulysses Owens Jr., who was first introduced to the singer via Theo Bleckmann. “She’s one of the most dynamic and studious musicians I have encountered in many years,” Owens Jr. reflects. “I have worked with a lot of talented artists, but not many that possess the work ethic and ambition that April encompasses, coupled with her incredible talent. She can sing anything and can morph into whatever the style is.” Working together was a natural step, and the two went to work in April. 


The result is a vibrant and cohesive album guided by self-reflection. “I wanted it to be like a letter to myself, and how far I’ve grown as an artist,” the singer says. “I want the world to see who April is and what that name invokes. It’s a reflection of both my personality and the many feelings associated with the season of Spring. My goal was to showcase different emotional layers that people could resonate with.”


April features Django regulars pianist Caelan Cardello (who also is the album arranger) and trumpeter and vocalist Benny Benack III alongside guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Miguel Russell, and tenor and soprano saxophonist Dayna Stephens. When choosing the band, Varner wanted to include musicians who had inspired her. Varner’s years-long history with Cardello and Russell particularly is displayed by their discernible interplay and tight musical connection.


Catch April on June 5th at The Django with sets at 10:30PM and 12AM. Reserve your table HERE. Her debut single, Dear April, drops on May 24th.