After Amy Winehouse’s passing in 2011, Elise Testone, a 2012 American Idol Finalist, felt deeply moved to understand the depth of the imprint Amy would forever leave on the world. She thoroughly learned Amy’s music and began to pay tribute to her through live performance which includes many of the original musical elements from Amy’s compositions.
With drums, bass, guitar, and keys at its core, the 9 piece band led by Elise also includes trombone or baritone sax, tenor sax, trumpet, and background vocalists. Elise is married to the sentiment of not copying an artist, but to emote their energy fused with her own. This show will include a handful of Testone’s originals as well.
A powerhouse vocalist whose incredible stage presence and vocal maturity rank with the best, Elise Testone is the perfect combination of soul, rock, attitude and restraint. Equally as impressive and at ease belting James Brown style vocals over a relentless funk groove as she is resting her voice gently over a ballad, Testone’s range of influences and vocal capacity know few limits. Her first original album, In This Life, released in 2014, received rave reviews, celebrating her ability to “wail the blues, rock like a bitch and purr sexily” (Goldmine Magazine). Growing up in New Jersey with a father who collected juke boxes, Testone knew she was a singer even as a young girl. Exposed to music that ranged from Motown and the Beatles to Queen and, later, Led Zeppelin and Erykah Badu, she began studying privately at the age of 5, excelling and performing publicly at local coffeehouses through her teens. Eventually graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a Vocal Performance degree, Testone came of age as a professional performer and private educator in Charleston, SC, becoming one of the most seasoned and well respected musicians in town. At the age of 27 she was approached by a scout from television reality show American Idol and decided to use the opportunity (urged on especially by her students) as a stepping stone to propel her career, ultimately becoming top six finalist on the hit show in 2012.