Isabel Crespo is a United States-born Costa Rican-Ecuadorian jazz vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator currently living in Denton, TX. She spends her time performing, leading ensembles of varying genres and sizes, teaching, and collaborating with artists both nationally and internationally. She is praised for her ability to utilize her voice with expressiveness, as well as with agility and precision.
Crespo was awarded a scholarship based on musical merit to pursue a Jazz Studies BA at UNT where she had the opportunity to perform, record, and tour with the Downbeat award-winning UNT Jazz Singers. In addition to being steeped in the jazz tradition at UNT, she also had the opportunity to perform varied repertoire, including traditional Brazilian music, Afrocuban music, the music of Frank Zappa, Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, and many compositions by colleagues and faculty members.
In 2017 she was the first vocalist invited to participate in the Boysie Lowery Living Jazz Residency as a vocalist and composer, received a full scholarship to attend the Keep an Eye Jazz Workshop in Amsterdam, was chosen to attend the Siena Jazz Workshop, and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the the same workshop in 2018. During these workshops, she had the privilege of working with internationally acclaimed artists such as Theo Bleckmann, Aaron Parks, Matt Mitchell, and Joe Sanders among others.
In addition to being a skilled performer, Crespo is a bandleader and a prolific composer. She leads a quintet called For Now, with which she performs original music inspired by creative modern jazz. They released their debut album, "Elsewhere," in May 2018, and will be going into the studio again this winter. She is one half of Both of Us, an improvisatory duo, forms part of Family Tree, an avant-pop sextet, and is part of The Chewing Surface, an experimental trio that will be recording their debut album this Fall. In 2016, she independently released a song-cycle entitled "Enough Silence" featuring 3 original songs arranged for a nonet. In 2015, she organized and performed with a collaborative project called Grown Curious that combined live performances of compositions by peers and contemporary dance for an interactive performance.
Crespo is a strong collaborator and reliable side-woman. She has performed, co-written, and recorded with groups of varying genres both within the jazz idiom and outside of it. She plans to continue writing, performing, and recording, as well as exploring new genres, new mediums, and interdisciplinary projects with like-minded peers.