Jean Bayou loves taking audiences by surprise! She writes and performs her original music with heart, soul, and musical prowess—her hooks, grooves and memorable melodies pull listeners into a realm sometimes reminiscent of the late 60’s and early 70’s, with a distinctive modern current, rhythm and twist. Her warm alto voice and unique percussive and rhythmic strumming/finger-picking style often make listeners sit up and take notice. Playing piano since the age of five, guitar at 12, as well as playing percussion in high school band, Jean started writing songs which she shared only with friends and family for quite some time before realizing that this was something she had a talent and passion for. She took songwriting workshops from an impressive roster of instructors and eventually began performing at open mics and songwriter showcases in the Washington, DC area around 2004. She was soon invited to play larger stages, festivals, intimate venues and house concerts and quickly became known as a top-notch songwriter by audiences and her peers, and in time, a polished and compelling performer. Jean is an inspiration to many, with her strong belief that it’s never too late to pursue your passion.
Jean’s relatable and thought-provoking tales take listeners on a melodic and lyrical journey of love gone wrong, love gone right, gratitude for friends and family, cherishing the day, social injustice, medical procedures, hopefulness and bad family vacations, to mention just a few. Such titles as “Knocking on a Deaf Man’s Door,” “Happy as the Day I Was Born,” “Mammogram,” “We Are Revolting” and “Your Karma Suits Ya” deliver the goods as promised, with finely crafted lyrics and melodies. Jean’s songs paint pictures of real life in creative and fresh ways and her upbeat and positive energy, keen sense of humor, and depth of emotion shine through in her songwriting.
Jean served as President of the Songwriters Association of Washington from 2005-2013, during which time her outstanding leadership was recognized by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) when she was twice honored as Executive of the Year in 2008 and 2009. She served as Director of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (2002-2005) and her 2010 debut album, Just About Everything, was nominated for top Contemporary Folk Album of the year by the WAMA membership.
Born and raised in the Hudson Valley in New York State, some of Jean’s early musical favorites were semi-locals such as Bob Dylan, The Band, Pete Seeger, and NRBQ, among many others. Her parents and siblings were avid music listeners and she was exposed to a wide array of musical genres from an early age, all of which have influenced her songwriting. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in the mid-70s, then lived in Benghazi, Libya for two years. She often says that she missed the 80s and 90s, when she was busy raising Amina, Ali, and Aziza (all of whom have made it successfully to adulthood)! During that time, she and her family lived in the Washington, DC suburbs where Jean worked for nearly three decades at a patent law firm, did a great deal of volunteer work for various organizations, made many lifelong friends, and quietly continued to hone her musical and songwriting skills.
Jean often accompanies other songwriters on piano, and loves to support, improvise and jam in just about any genre. She is currently recording a new vocal CD, and possibly has another featuring her piano compositions on the horizon.
Jean now enjoys living in Sarasota, Florida, where she has met many great songwriters and musicians. She is currently traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad, pursuing her passion of connecting with people through her uniquely original stories and music.
SOME OF THE VENUES/ OPEN MICS/EVENTS WHERE JEAN HAS PERFORMED:
Library of Congress–World Intellectual Property Day (Washington, DC)
Epicure Café Songwriters Showcase (Fairfax, VA)
Brewer’s Alley Songwriters Showcase (Frederick, MD)
Fredericksburg Songwriters Showcase (Fredericksburg, VA)
Jammin’ Java (Vienna, VA)
Washington Folk Festival (funny songs showcase) (Glen Echo, MD)
Bluemont Fair (Bluemont, VA)
The Torpedo Factory Arts Center (Alexandria, VA)
Takoma Park Folk Festival (Takoma Park, MD)
Reston-Herndon Folk Club (Herndon, VA)
The Athenaeum (Alexandria, VA)
Hideaway Café (St. Pete, FL)
Mangia Gourmet (Gulfport, FL)
The Blueberry Patch (Gulfport, FL)
Common Grounds Coffeehouse (North Port, FL)
Turtle Rocks The ClubHouse Concert Series–opening for Jason Wilber (Sarasota, FL)
The Bearded Clam (Sarasota, FL)
Elixir Tea House (Sarasota, FL)
The Tea House (Sarasota, FL)
Flow Factory (Sarasota, FL)
Ocean Blues (Sarasota, FL)
Folk Club of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL)
Siesta Key Oyster Bar (Sarasota, FL)
Lelu Coffehouse (Sarasota, FL)
Cock & Bull (Sarasota, FL)
JR’s Packinghouse Café (Sarasota, FL)
Pastry Arts (Sarasota, FL)
Southwoodstock Music and Arts Festival (Tallahassee, FL)
Taste Budd’s Café (Red Hook, NY)
Bearsville Theater (Woodstock, NY)
Neutral Grounds Coffeehouse (New Orleans, LA)
Wildflower Village (Reno, NV)
Bobby G’s Pizzeria (Berkeley, CA)
Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA)
The Maltese (Chico, CA)
Gogi’s Café (Chico, CA)
Persimmons Garden Gallery (Redway, CA)
Wilbur Hot Springs (Artist in Residence 2015) (Williams, CA)