Women of Our Time: Delynia Jannell, Paula Saunders, and Charlotte Fletcher
Delynia is a native of Kansas City, Kansas. Born into a musical family, she began singing at the early age of 2 at her church, where her father, the late Elder James C. Bailey, pastored and her mother Janet V. Bailey, was First lady for over 20 years. Early on, her parents saw her gift and talent for singing; they encouraged and supported her in many of her singing endeavors.
At the age of eleven she joined J.T. Productions, which allowed her to travel with a youth choir across the country singing and performing in numerous gospel plays. There she experienced her first official stage, giving her exposure outside of her local church. This was the first of many opportunities in her career.
As a vocalist, recording artist and songwriter Delynia has been blessed to share her musical talents throughout this City, within our Nation, and Internationally. In 1999 she sung background for Shania Twain in her Kansas City Tour on “God Bless the Child.” In 2000, she was the featured soloist in “This Little Light of Mine” at Carnegie Hall in New York, and travelled to London, England with the Washburn University Choir. In 2006, she released her first contemporary Gospel debut album titled “I Give My All.” Other accomplishments include her working with national recording artists Krizz Kaliko, TechN9ne, Stevie Stone, E-40 and Kyla Jade. She was a featured artist in the 2017 Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival and recently joined the Philip Collins Experience 2019 Tour.
Paula Saunders is a familiar face in the Kansas City music scene. Brought up in a musical family, Paula has been singing since she was 2 years old. She started out singing in the church and has been a part of a local gospel group since its inception in 2005. She recognized early on that her voice had a different sort of quality and versatility that is not often heard in music today, and recently started to branch out as a solo artist in the world of R&B and Jazz.
Her claim to fame has been the ability to sing beautifully in the alto and tenor range, something that is uncommon among many female vocalists. Paula’s rich, sultry tone has been compared to such voices as Lalah Hathaway, Oleta Adams and Anita Baker. Though her voice rests comfortably in the lower register, Paula’s mother—a classic Soprano—also trained her to use her upper register, leading many to refer to her as one of the most versatile singers in the city.
Paula performs regularly with well-known and sought after local artists in Kansas City such as Langston and his band, Prototype. She has also graced the stage with and had her vocals featured on the album of National recording bass player and Kansas City native, Julian Vaughn. Paula has had the opportunity to work with nationally known producer Asaph Ward and she has had the honor to open for such chart topping artists as Joe, Kenny Latimore and Mint Condition.
In October 2014, Paula released her first project entitled, Introducing Paula Saunders. It is a collection of timeless jazz standards that everyone is sure to enjoy. Whether she’s rocking the house with an upbeat tune from Ella Fitzgerald or serenading the crowd with the smooth sounds of a Sarah Vaughan classic, Paula’s voice is sure to capture—and keep—your attention.
Providing the best in R&B, Soul and Gospel music, Charlotte Embry & Soigné was organized in October 2012. Upon her return from The Xfactor's bootcamp in Miami, FL, Charlotte had to respect the terms of her contract with the reality TV show and wait until after March 2013 before she could begin recording and performing. The band finally performed in May of 2013! The band took off! They were all over Kansas City, performing and placing a smile on the faces of music lovers in the Kansas City area! Charlotte got married in December 2014. The band's name changed to Charlotte Fletcher & Soigné. Charlotte Fletcher & Soigné provides a fun, crowd interactive experience. Their focus is to make you feel good! Charlotte Fletcher & Soigné has opened for Morris Day and The Time, Sister Sledge, Will Downing and the Average White Band. This Kansas City local band has 7 members and performs throughout the city, frequently on 18th & Vine.