JAZZ BLUES R&B FEMALE VOCALIST, Janice Mitchell . . . grew up in Buffalo, NY, with intentions of becoming a pharmacist, but little did she know that fate had a completely different plan for her. She has sung her way from WNY all across the globe, jazzing and bluesing it up, through a string of totally unexpected events. While pursuing her dream of studying pharmacy at the State University of NY at Buffalo, Janice worked in a shoe store across the street from the campus of SUNY Buffalo. As she hummed around the shoe shop, she caught the ear of an associate who's boyfriend's band was in need of a passionate singer. Jan got the job and this was the turning point of the whole direction of her career.
After working with her first band, Bridge, , she sang with Alive and Well, a group which also featured Tony Galla and Jimmy Calire of Raven. After the group broke up, Janice moved to New York City, where she met, producer and songwriter Eugene McDaniels, who became a "spiritual brother" and agent to Janice.
Her credits of the 70's and 80's appear as Afreeka Trees a former stage name given to her by Gene. After their move to Los Angeles, in an era and locale where the record industry flourished, it was he who opened the door to the studio backup singing that she did for an endless list of artists, whose names include Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Les McCann, Bobby Womack, and Robbie Krieger of the Doors.
A solo performed by Janice on organist Jimmy Smith's album, "Sit On It", resulted in an offer for a recording deal with his record company and also in a personal call from Stevie Wonder inviting her to perform with him in Washington D.C. in concert for the Congressional Black Caucus.
Among her movie credits is a singing appearance in Sidney Poitier's "Uptown Saturday Night"and Taylor Hackford's "The Idolmaker".
The road was home as they toured together for the next few
The road was home as they toured together for the next few years.
Janice is now in the process of recording a tribute to Ray Charles, which will incorporate some of her original music dedicated to Ray along with special arrangements of Ray's hit tunes.
She has been inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.