Portland, Oregon-based songwriter, pianist, and vocalist Naomi LaViolette has found her niche amongst retro-style grooves, cool jazz, and classical arrangements. Naomi’s smooth vocals span a range of colors from the sultry blues timbre of Norah Jones to the ambience of Sarah McLachlan, and her inclusion of both vintage and current keyboard sounds are reminiscent of both the funky rhythms of Billy Preston and classic folk-rock of Carole King. Her original songs tell stories of falling in love, life lessons, and heartbreak, while striking a distinctive balance between sweet flirtation, soul-searching, and gratitude. Her artistic and authentic live performance, whether solo or with a band or ensemble, is an intimate and inspiring experience.
Naomi released her first solo record, self-titled Naomi LaViolette in March 2012, an EP entitled You’ve Got Me in October 2013, a full-length record entitled Written For You in 2017, and multiple singles. Her latest release is Live at The Old Church with Members of the Oregon Symphony, released February 2019. Naomi’s work as a pianist, vocalist, arranger and composer with Steven Goodwin and the Saving His Music project has received prominent coverage in national and local news, including CBS Sunday Morning, The Week, The Oregonian, and The Saturday Evening Post. Their record, entitled The Nature Of Love, spent three weeks on the Billboard New Age chart in January 2018.
Naomi’s roots are deep in classical music—she has a master’s degree in classical piano performance—but she has also immersed herself in jazz standards, folk songs, soul, pop, and gospel. All these influences give her music a variety of moods and styles for listeners to enjoy. Naomi is often commissioned to write songs for special occasions, and she is regularly hired for live music at events and weddings. She also provides arrangements of her music for other musical groups, and her choral arrangement of “Noel” has been performed by many choirs in Oregon and Washington.
Naomi’s original music has received great reviews and critical acclaim from media including Oregon Music News, The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, The Inessa Blog, KATU’s AM Northwest, KINK.fm, and KMHD.fm. She is praised for her songwriting and balanced combination of chops and lyricism. Naomi has opened for national and international artists, and performed at esteemed venues and festivals including the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak’s, the Doug Fir Lounge, the Alberta Rose Theater, and The Bite of Oregon. She has been the pianist for the Oregon Repertory Singers since 2004.
CBS SUNDAY MORNING with Steve Hartman on the “Saving His Music” project
“HIS HEART, HER HANDS” by Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian
SOUND TASTING PDX on Portland Radio Project
NORTHWEST PREVIEWS on Portland’s All Classical FM on the “Saving His Music” project
THE INESSA BLOG interview / podcast
“Amazingly powerful with a subtlety that really soars"
— Steve Pringle, KINK.fm
“Naomi’s music falls somewhere between folk and jazz, with a touch of Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones and her songwriting idol, Joni Mitchell."
— Rachel Stark, The Oregonian
“Naomi’s album has an overall feeling of soul and emotion, sung in a voice that comes through honestly, conveying a true feeling for the story being told with great musical backing from a solid band."
— Jim Makarounis, Club Owner, Jimmy Mak’s
“You’ve Got Me is an easy pleasure, with a playful, inviting, upbeat-with-a-twist-of-edgy vibe. It seems to say, “hey, come hang out, share some wine, talk about life with me.” Of course her voice is HER VOICE. Warm, lush, and perfectly delicious. Classically trained, and at the same time real and down to earth. That’s it! There’s something elemental about this effort. Earthy vocals, with a fresh air feel, these songs stretch freely like a wildfire, but remain fluid and together as a collection, much like a body of water."
— Alaya Wyndham-Price, Oregon Music News
“Smooth and unruffled on the surface, her voice and piano swell with strength in reserve. Something dangerous in those jazz depths… Be ready"
— Lynn Daroch, KMHD 89.1 Portland jazz radio
“LaViolette is creme brulee right now. She is lace and feathers. She is a rich voice in a delicately styled package, full of heart and care, who is able to embody the mythical presence of that which makes a woman a special creature. She harnesses this beauty of femininity in her music, as some several amazing female artists have done before her, and it works because it is pleasurable and it appeals to the masses, as it is easy to listen to, both because it’s approachable, and because it is enchanting… Each song becomes its own fairy tale, as she brings form not just to the beauty but the power of the female spirit, and suddenly what you are listening to becomes much more important."
— Alaya Wyndham-Price, Oregon Music News
“Naomi’s music is intimate, welcoming, and cozy. In the moment. This debut album is full of unexpected textures and turns. Both in the instrumentation (strings!) and dynamics..The lyrics evoke one’s own experience but through a Naomi-lense. Which is a wonderful way to view life. Familiar somehow, because we’ve all been there, in relationship, and small moments of life. Naomi often suggests in her songs, to love her for who she is. To make a commitment. I do!"
— Inessa, KINK.fm
“Portland songstress Naomi LaViolette populates the same region as piano-soulsters Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones. On her new EP, You’ve Got Me, she continues to hone a lovelorn voice that is at once ethereal and grounded. It’s a style not often heard in the realm of indie rock, making hers a rare breed of songwriting. These songs are timeless in their execution and more than a little old-fashioned, but it’s impossible not to get swept up in their emotions…"
— AP Kryza, Willamette Week
“Saying Naomi is a good musician doesn’t mean that it stops at being a great singer, or skilled at her instrument. She understands how the ‘nuts and bolts’ of music fit together. It made communicating creative ideas easier with everyone involved, as well as stretching our imaginations for where the production might land. She came to me without ‘fences’ around her songs, and loved experimenting with ‘new colors’ of sound. Her songwriting is ‘in the moment’, personal in a way that makes you feel like you’ve been there before too. If Sarah McLachlan and Madeleine Peyroux took a road trip down the rocky shores of the Oregon Coast, they’d come back with songs like this."
— Dean Baskerville, Producer/Engineer, Fringe Creative Group
“Naomi LaViolette specializes in the kind of music that goes immediately for the heart strings. She tackles the rarely told tale of love not yet lost. LaViolette’s songs are prodded along by intensely intricate piano hooks, with the singer’s ethereal voice drifting overtop in a way that is both soothing and penetrating."
— AP Kryza, Forest Grove News Times
“Pianist-vocalist Naomi LaViolette is a lyrical musician who knows how to string together the perfect run of notes, just enough to show you she’s got chops, on the keys or in her voice, but not so many that she overwhelms the beauty of a melody.”
— Rob Cullivan, The Portland Tribune
“Jimmy Mak’s on January 27, 2012 – Naomi LaViolette CD release – full to the bubbling brim…the sophisticated yet wholesome singer/songwriter charmed with her winsome piano and wise way with words. Her tasteful, talented ensemble ensured a memorable night for all! A star is born.”
— Lisa LePine, Music Promotion