Catherine Russell “Harlem on My Mind”
Sat., Feb 10th | 8 PM | SOPAC
Catherine Russell is “a retro old school vocalist for the ages” (All Music Guide). Her repertoire features gems from the 1920s through the present; interpretations that are burnished with soul and humor. With an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell has joined the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.
The distinguished vocalist earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her sixth solo album, Harlem On My Mind, featuring songs from the Great African American Songbook. She won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Catherine Russell was born into a musical family. Her father Luis Russell was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director and her life was filled with extraordinary music and musicians from the very beginning. She graduated with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and then embarked upon musical adventures with Carrie Smith, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash, among others, touring the world and lending her voice to more than 200 albums.
From 2002 through 2004, Catherine Russell worked with David Bowie as a band member, providing backing vocals and featured contributions on guitar, keyboard and percussion for Bowie’s Heathen Tour, A Reality Tour, and his 2003 album Reality.
With the 2004 suspension of Bowie’s touring career, Catherine signaled a new dedication to her solo career as a leading Jazz and Blues singer and respected interpreter of popular and forgotten standards. Six fully conceived and excellently produced albums have followed, about one every two years, supported by an extensive touring schedule in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S.
Her 2016 record Harlem on My Mind received rave reviews and is without a doubt the best work yet put forth by Catherine Russell. She described the album as a “return to the roots” and JazzTimes raved, “If there’s a postmillennial answer to Dinah Washington, surely it’s Catherine Russell.”