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My desire to sing jazz began as a child in New York, en route to my grandfather’s favorite Chinese Food restaurant in the back of his Cadillac...
His two favorite things were Chinese food and Sinatra. He’d play Jonathan Schwartz on WNEW all the way there and all the way home. I didn’t realize it, but not only was I enjoying what I heard, I was memorizing it. And every so often my grandfather would offer commentary. "You know why he’s the best," he’d say. "Diction. You can understand every word he says.” I'd heard both my grandfather and Sinatra loud and clear, and got hooked on swingin' standards.
Simultaneous to my coursework as a broadcast journalism student at NYU, I studied The Great American Songbook weekly at the university's jazz vocal workshop. I found I didn’t have to work all that hard to prepare and memorize lyrics. All the standards had sunk in years before in the Cadillac!
I began working in lounges and clubs in and around New York City honing my personal style, working with several of the city’s most renowned jazz guitarists including Gene Bertoncini, Howard Alden, Frank Vignola, Paul Meyers, Roni Ben-Hur, Joe Cohn and John Hart.
I'm a storyteller and take the lead from my favorite vocalists including Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horne, Sheila Jordan, Julie London and Irene Kral -- to name a few. Jazz, and these singers in particular, taught me that you can be as powerful in a whisper as you can be in full-voice. Just mean what you sing, tell a story.
I've performed at venues including Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Room, Yale's Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Center and The Rainbow Room.
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