Vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist-composer-bandleader, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, the late Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist-guitarist-bassist who performed with the all-female swing orchestra, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm; pianist-composer-arranger Mary Lou Williams; and Sy Oliver, among many others. Catherine’s professional life began after graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has toured and/or recorded with Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Toshi Reagon and Rosanne Cash, among others, appearing on over 200 albums.
Her 2006 debut album Cat, (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), garnered rave reviews, paving the way for her 2008 sophomore release, Sentimental Streak. Catherine was a guest on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”, PBS-TV’s “Tavis Smiley Show”, and NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Marian McParland’s “Piano Jazz”, “Mountain Stage”, “World Café”, and “Jazz Night in America.” She won a prestigious German Record Critics’ Award and a Living Blues magazine critics’ poll. Catherine Russell’s third album, Inside This Heart of Mine, reached #1 on JazzWeek and Roots Music Report radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on iTunes jazz charts. A fourth album, Strictly Romancin’ was released in February 2012, and was awarded Prix du Jazz Vocal (Vocal Album of The Year) by the French Jazz Academy, Grand Prix du Hot Club de France, and a Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording. Also, in 2012, Catherine Russell received a Grammy® Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire.
In 2013, Catherine contributed 3 songs to the soundtrack of the film, Kill Your Darlings. Her 5th solo album, Bring It Back, was released worldwide in February of 2014 on the Jazz Village label, receiving a *****5 Star Review in Downbeat Magazine. In September 2016, Catherine released her 6th solo album, titled Harlem On My Mind, featuring songs from the Great African American Songbook, receiving a Grammy® Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Her 7th album as a leader, Alone Together, was released in March 2019 on Dot Time Records, held the #1 position on the JazzWeek 2019 Year End chart for national airplay and received her second Grammy® Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album . Also in 2019, Catherine appeared in the feature film Bolden, and contributed vocals to the soundtrack album by Wynton Marsalis. She appears as featured vocalist on three tracks on Big Band Holidays II, accompanied by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
Lamb Sandi Durell was the evening’s interviewer; Lamb Magda Katz was the Collie.