A woman and her bass

Photographs: Regula Bearth © ZHdK

Student portrait Jeanaine Jarret

Holding her double bass, and with a microphone close to her lips, Jeanaine Jarret gives groovy bass lines a flowing melody. She hits the bass notes so that the room shakes.


Christina Wallat: You listen to a lot of pop, so why are you studying jazz?
Jeanaine Jarret: After eight years of classical piano lessons, I switched to jazz and also started learning the double bass. Since high school, I have been studying jazz theory and have developed a fascination for sound. So many different styles are packed into jazz, which I enjoy both listening to and playing.

Your main instrument is the bass. You recently began accompanying yourself singing. What is the challenge?
Jeanaine Jarret: The biggest challenge for me is intonation. The double bass and vocals are both instruments that require intonation. In addition, their ranges tend to drift far apart. It is sometimes difficult to perceive the bass tones exactly and to make them resonate with the singing. Coordination was new for me in this constellation. I have been accompanying myself on the guitar or the piano since I was a child. But on the double bass the feeling is completely different. I had to learn to remain rhythmically stable on the double bass while the singing moves freely.

What does it mean to perform your own music? And how is this different from covering other music?
At the Bachelor Concert in September 2020, I played a whole set of my own music for the first time. I can fully identify with my own songs. The lyrics tell true stories and experiences. Although I am emotionally involved with cover versions, I often don’t have a specific image in my head. They are far less personal to me.

What are your current projects?
I will continue my own project “Jeanaine Jarret.” I recently formed a trio with Joachim Frey and Samir Böhringer, who are also studying at ZHdK. We play our own compositions and interpret modern folk songs in a new way in the context of an electric jazz trio. I also play contemporary jazz with the Bernese band HOME, which is led by saxophonist Marco Karrer, as well as the electric bass with singer-songwriter Tobias Jensen.

Who or what deserves a renaissance?
80s music — or any good vibe! When I think of the eighties, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson immediately come to mind. I am a very big fan of both and would immediately go to one of their concerts if they were still alive.

Jeanaine Jarret performs “Those Times“, live at Mehrspur Club Zurich in September 2020.

Further student portraits published in Zett
Christina Wallat (christina.wallat@zhdk.ch) is responsible for communications at the Department of Music at ZHdK.
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