Reviews and Awards
Jennifer's debut album "By a Wire" was nominated by Zone Music Reporter for 2014's 'Best Piano with Instrumentation' Award and 'Best New Artist'... she won 'Best New Artist' that year!
Other notable achievements for "By a Wire" include being placed among the best albums of the year for 2014 on Mainly Piano, One World Music and Lloyd Barde's Picks.
"Sisu" Debuted at #1 on March and April's ZMR top 100 chart in 2017, staying in the top 25 for 5 months.; It was also #1 and #2 for 4 months on Gaia Prime Radio; Debuted at #1 on Enlightened Piano Radio and remained in the top 15 for 5 months; check out the Sisu Press Release;
"Sisu" has won:
The "Best Piano Album with Instrumentation" for 2017 at the Zone Music Reporter Awards in May 2018!!;
The "Best Ambient/Instrumental Album" at the Akademia Music Awards in August 2017!!;
The Global Music Award's Silver Medal for New Age Album in September 2017!!;
and was nominated for "Best Ambient/New Age Song" - Sisu - in the 2018 RoundGlass Music Awards!!
Sisu remained in the top 50 for 5 months on the International One World Music Radio's Top 100.
Reviews of "Sisu"
"If piano that helps you in your drive to reach for (and achieve) great things is what your spirit is in need of right now, you will just love Jennifer’s excellent work on this fresh new release! … One of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard (yet) in 2017 is “Palo Santo”; the weave of instruments against her purposeful and high-energy keyboard style is most impressive, and will have you listening over and over again to this inspiring 6:20 composition! The musicians on the album include..."
~Dick Metcalf/Rotcod Zzaj of Contemporary Fusion Review Read Full Review
"Sisu (pronounced see-soo) is the sophomore release from Jennifer DeFrayne and follow-up to her critically-acclaimed debut album, By a Wire. A self-taught pianist and composer of Finnish decent, Sisu is a Finnish word describing “a mindset that enables an individual to reach beyond their present limitations, take action against all odds and transform struggles into success.” Such a description couldn’t be more fitting for this album, one that has been conceptualized by an artist who experienced a series of personal tragedies, while her truest companion, the piano, guided her along through her pain and suffering. Comprised of twelve compositions written by Jennifer and produced with Corin Nelsen, the album additionally features a handful of talented guest musicians throughout..."
~Candice Michelle of Journeyscapes Read Full Review
"Jennifer’s music uses her talents with the ivory keys as the foundation of every track and then it is accentuated by other sounds and textures to give it a worldlier crossover feel to it. The title is normally the centerpiece of the table that is set and this album is no exception. “Sisu” is bold yet tasteful like a cup of good strong coffee, the music lingers in the air once it is made and the aroma is still there afterwards. This is good way to explain what this music sounds like and how it will affect you...
As my love for music becomes more important with each passing day, I become that much more appreciative of music from albums like Sisu. My respect and gratefulness I feel for people like Jennifer DeFrayne goes beyond words. Listen to the spellbinding sounds of this album and I am sure you will agree this is one recording that will be in regular rotation in your stereo this year."
~Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck - 5/5 stars. Read Full Review
"I love the second album as much as the first! It’s a big job to follow up a successful album (particularly a debut) with a second stunner. Bravo!
Jennifer DeFrayne has managed to do exactly this, and thanks also to the excellence of Producer/Engineer Corin Nelsen, it’s an album that deserves your fullest attention.
The word ‘circular’ comes to mind. And to me, that’s a really good thing because waves are circular, George Winston’s music is circular, the earth and our connection to nature in the way we listen to the ebb and flow is also circular. No edges, all is connected."
~Fiona Joy - 5/5 stars - Fiona's Brush Stroke Reviews. Read Full Review
"Sisu is pianist/composer Jennifer DeFrayne’s second album, following her award-winning 2014 debut, By a Wire. The title refers to a quality that characterizes the Finnish spirit and encompasses perseverance, courage, endurance, determination, grit, fortitude, bravery, spirit, resilience and inner strength. DeFrayne, who is of Finnish descent, explains: “Each song on this album embraces the spirit of sisu in one way or another and each song is meant to reflect the many characteristics of sisu.” An artist who has had far more than her fair of tragedies and set-backs in life is herself a shining example of sisu at work, and has demonstrated how this positive mindset can enable a person to take action against all odds and turn struggles into success."
~Kathy Parsons - Mainly Piano. Read Full Review
"While listening to this album, I came to know about the incredible story of Jennifer, which is so inspiring and soul-stirring. Facing difficulties in life is everybody’s lot; to maintain the creative instinct is a gift given to only a few. Jennifer has risen above the hardships that her life brought to her, and she smelted all of them–what you receive in the form of her music is pure gold carrying the shine and beauty of her soul. She has truly embodied the spirit of Sisu!"
~Vivek Kumar- 2indya. Read Full Review
"...Jennifer DeFrayne has manifested into the world the perfect album for these times of self-doubt and fear, a release that is inspirational in its intent and preservers in its beliefs of rising above all that is negative, and never giving up. Sisu should be a musical example to us all. It’s an album that contains some of the best musicians of their time and genre and a performance on piano by DeFrayne that is absorbing, formidable and spirited."
Reviews of "By a Wire"
"Every reviewer relishes the opportunity to hear a new impressive artist and Jennifer DeFrayne is one of them. Her impressive debut from performance to material to production knocks it out of the musical ballpark. With absolutely no filler and only one solo track, Jennifer DeFrayne has left the musical community with no doubt that her debut has sleeper hit of 2014 written all over it..."
~Michael Debbage of Mainly Piano Read Full Review
"If you love well-played piano in a near-classical mode – you will find Jennifer’s beautiful recording to your liking. Pieces like “Calling Angels” were especially pretty, perhaps because of the violin woven into the fabric. It’s no surprise, however, that the aural focus remains on the keyboard, because Jennifer knows how to coax the widest spectrum of emotional color out of her instrument. … If you are a listener who demands excellence in the piano works you include on your playlists, you’ll agree when I declare this to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97..."
~Rotcod Zzaj of Improvijazzation Nation Read Full Review
"Forged in the fires of personal loss and tempered by the inspiration of overcoming, Jennifer DeFrayne has crafted musical gold from the lead of life’s challenges. Her sensitive piano melodies reflect a range of heartfelt emotions, from wistful remembrances to hope-filled dreams, and more. Produced by renowned Australian pianist Fiona Joy and Grammy winning Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, a number of A-list studio musicians accompany Jennifer on her profound musical journey, making this an evocative and deeply moving listening experience.
For me, the thing that stands out most about the music of Jennifer DeFrayne is the emotional presence that permeates her compositions and the ability to communicate that through her playing. Guided by the expertise of Will Ackerman and Fiona Joy, Jennifer has created an auspicious debut recording that marks the emergence of a talented artist with a promising musical future. ..."
~Michael Diamond (RIP) of Music and Media Focus Read Full Review
"There is a bravery and an emotional rawness to DeFrayne’s work, surely related to the inspiration for her music. You wouldn't think that By a Wire is pianist Jennifer DeFrayne's debut recording, so assured and confident is her playing. DeFrayne's music is, by turns, passionate and powerful and reflective and subtle, although she seems to favor the more direct approach, making sure the listener understands what she is trying to convey in music. The album was recorded at every pianist's favorite haunt, Imaginary Road Studios, under the watchful gaze of co-producers Will Ackerman and Australian pianist Fiona Joy (on whose Little Hartley Music label the album is released). Able guest stars include music luminaries such as cellist Eugene Friesen, bassist Tony Levin and violinist Charlie Bisharat, among others, all who contribute in their usual quality fashion. However, the star attraction is DeFrayne's evocative and soulful piano playing, as one would expect, as she takes the listener by the hand and walks them, sometimes gently, sometimes powerfully, down the corridors of her memories, recalled through and played out in these ten melodic compositions."
~Bill Binkelman of Zone Music Reporter/Wind and Wire
"DeFrayne spans the emotional range with By a Wire. Her music speaks of the deepest parts of our souls as human beings. After suffering the loss of family members and a debilitating stroke while she was a young mother, DeFrayne lost the ability to coordinate her fingers with the music in her mind. She was determined to grab onto her life’s blood and reclaim it as her own and now with By a Wire she has done just that. This debut album is one that shows just what a person can do if they believe enough. Love really can set you free. ..."
~Dana Wright of New Age Music Reviews Read Full Review
"By a Wire is an album of true natural beauty, By a Wire is an album that speaks from the heart and finishes with such a flourish, I will defy you not to be moved. Using the talents of Fiona Joy, Will Ackerman, Charlie Bisharat, Eugene Friesen, Jeff Haynes, Jeff Oster, Jill Haley, Noah Wilding, Rebecca Daniel and Tony Levin she has brought into this world the best debut album ever recorded, I was truly deeply moved by this album and I really urge you all to run out and buy it, if you don’t you will miss out on a total gem. ..."
~Steve Shepherd of One World Radio Read Full Review
"By a Wire" presents us with two significant firsts: the debut recording of pianist/composer Jennifer DeFrayne, a very promising new artist, and the producing debut of Fiona Joy (other than her own recordings). Co-produced by Will Ackerman and recorded at his Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont, DeFrayne’s soulful piano is backed by an impressive list of musicians that includes Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Jill Haley (English horn), and Eugene Friesen (cello).
Hats off to Jennifer DeFrayne for making her dream come true - and in very grand style at that! … Recommended! ..."
~Kathy Parsons of Mainly Piano Read Full Review
"On her new album By A Wire, Jennifer DeFrayne opens the doors to the heart so the soul can be heard. She has woven a beautiful tapestry of melodies, harmonies and most importantly heartfelt renderings through this beautiful album. My personal favorites Calling Angels and Hope Floats call the soul back home. I have a personal preference for music that reminds us of the love that is found at the edge of night and day, joy and sorrow - her music does just that. In this music there is artistry and healing to be found. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your gifts with us."
~Michael Brant DeMaria- Musician, Author, Psychologist, Speaker etc.
“Jennifer DeFrayne’s music comes from passion, emotion and a story worth telling. Her music is real and it is deeply touching.”
~Fiona Joy- Musician, Artist
"When this music starts playing, it's just as if a gray, life experienced writer sits down on a chair in front of the public and slowly begins his fascinating story. He has so much to tell for sophisticated audience ... The music of the album “By a Wire” has such a power and beauty that it stirs the soul from the very first seconds and you are not able to tear yourself away from these divine tunes until the last chords. Jennifer DeFrayne experienced a lot of in her life. Perhaps, that is why her music is filled with such a depth and expressiveness. Jennifer found the strength to overcome all the difficulties and sufferings. This is reflected in the compositions of “By a Wire”. Its music has freshness and it is full of inspiration...."
~Serge Kozlovsky- Reviewer, Author from Belarus Read Full Review