By Kristina Houck
When her 7-year-old daughter refused to sing during the voice lessons she purchased at an auction, Anna Danes stepped in. The Solana Beach resident didn’t realize she would discover her true passion.
“I love the expression of singing,” Danes said. “The songs that I like are what I consider American songs and standards. It’s the classics that we all grew up with.
“They’ve always been an inspiration. To be singing these songs now — it’s awesome! I just love jazz.”
Now 9, her daughter opted for guitar lessons, while Danes recorded her first album.
Family, friends and neighbors celebrated the release of “Longing” during a party Nov. 15 at Coast Highway Photography in Solana Beach. Owner and photographer Kevin Connors captured the photos for Danes’ album cover.
“I’m excited!” said Danes at the party. “It’s such a community event. So many people who live and work here have helped me with this project. That’s why I wanted to keep it local.”
Now available at local retailers such as Coast Highway Photography, the album will be released on iTunes and on Danes’ website Feb. 11, just before Valentine’s Day.
“It’s appropriate because it’s an album about love and longing for it,” Danes said.
“Longing” features a dozen jazz covers, including “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Killing Me Softly” and “Sweet Valentine.”
“The music, to me, is beautiful. The melodies are beautiful,” Danes said. “The sentiments are about wanting love and missing love. Everybody can relate to that.”
Born in Gdansk, Poland, Danes was 10 years old when her family escaped Communist rule and vacationed in Sweden. After her father landed an engineer position in Ottawa, the family settled in Canada.
While adapting to a different culture and learning English and French, Danes also struggled with her parents’ divorce. She used music to escape and joined a Polish church choir in Ottawa. Until now, that was the only music experience she had.
Danes earned her bachelor’s degree in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Ottawa and studied law at the University of Windsor. She practiced family and estate law as an attorney in Toronto prior to relocating to California 14 years ago. Since then, Danes became a business owner and mother.
In addition to promoting her album, Danes said she would soon announce upcoming shows. Already looking forward to making more music, she is also considering recording a Christmas album.
“Once you catch the bug, it’s hard to stop,” said Danes, who moved from San Marcos to Solana Beach in 2011.
“You just never know where life is going to take you. Sometimes difficulty comes in your life, but you’ve got to turn it around and create something positive. That’s what I did.”
For more information about Danes or to preview her album, visit