Layonne Holmes is a vocalist with range from funk and soul, to jazz and blues and rock and roll. With family gospel groundwork, Layonne has continually pursued her love of all genres. She has stage and studio experience and continues to broaden her horizons by working with a variety of talented musicians. "I always try to challenge myself and continue to learn more and more."
Layonne has been doing just that with her own band, RAIN, which has been playing the New Jersey circuit for the past 5 years. A female-fronted band including Layonne's mother, former Springsteen backing vocalist Delores Holmes, and Debbie Vaughn, RAIN is a fusion of soul, jazz, R&B, rock and gospel. The Monmouth County-based group consistently pleases varied audiences and venues with classic material from Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sade, James Taylor, The Doobie Brothers and newer artists such as India Arie, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and others. Layonne's originals are woven into this tapestry of revisioned classics. RAIN is made up of seasoned musicians with extensive experience in premier jazz festivals, stages and sessions, adding solid musicianship and great grooves.
Layonne also has a diverse solo career, performing a wide range of material with Bob Bandiera's Jersey Shore Rock-n-Soul Revue concerts at the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank, NJ), the State Theatre (New Brunswick, NJ) and the State Theater (Easton, PA), with a long, impressive list of musical talent.
In addition she performs music made famous by some of the greatest vocalists ever to grace the stage. This Tribute to the Grand Ladies of Jazz, performed with the eclectic Gerald Carboy Jazz Ensemble, honors Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone and is quickly gaining recognition from jazz lovers seeking a classic performance of songs from the American Songbook.
Layonne and her mother can also be found singing a wide range of popular music with Tim McLoone & The Shirleys, as well as singing and volunteering with Holiday Express, the Jersey Shore-based non-profit that brings music, supplies, financial support and goodwill to those in great need.
Layonne's voice is smoky and soulful, mature and compelling. She recognizes the importance of music that tells a story, heals, uplifts and focuses on the positive. As a songwriter (ASCAP) you'll find these themes in her lyrics.
She is also an experienced studio session singer, having laid tracks for Fernando Saunders of Lou Reed Band, Vini Lopez of Steel Mill, The late Danny Federici and Bill Chinnock, Steve Delopoulos and John DeGrazio of Burlap to Cashmere, Matt O'Ree, The Soul Project, and many others. Layonne was also a member of Love Among Freaks (of Clerks movie fame) and sang on the band's full-length album. She and her mother backed Bruce Springsteen on the internationally-televised 9/11 Tribute to Heroes Telethon and appear on the album of the same name.
This combined history has allowed Layonne to share the stage with Darlene Love, Beth Nielson Chapman, Phoebe Snow, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, and Gary US Bonds, among others.
Live stage and studio experience, sweet and soulful, gritty and powerful, remembering the past and looking to the future: all a part of Layonne Holmes.