Saturday, February 18, 2012, 8:00 pm
$18 adv / $22 day of / $10 student
Note: Galleries are open until 6 PM on Saturday, February 18 with a special package price on tickets to the galleries + the show.
Catherine Russell, who has earned comparisons to jazz icons such as Ella Fitzgerald and Bessie Smith, will share her soulful blues in a concert sponsored by Amtrak. Hailed for her timeless jazz croon, Russell is known for rediscovering and reinterpreting jazz classics, as well as delivering what are destined to become classics. The Portland Tribune says, "the kind of deep, true blue that emanates from her rich, timeless voice is absolutely the real dealâ€¦classy, lusty, pure, and undeniably golden."
For this Valentine's event, our Hunter Center will be transformed into a jazz nightclub complete with cafe tables and chairs, special cocktails, and dinner available from Lickety Split. The menu for the night includes: jambalaya, Mediterranean cod, thin crust pizza, chicken quesadilla and a selection of cakes for dessert.
The daughter of Luis Russell, Louis Armstrong's musical director, and Carlene Ray, member of International Sweethearts of Rhythm, music was a strong component of Russell's upbringing. Growing up in New York, her mother exposed her to musical greats such as Alberta Hunter and Leontyne Price in concert. Beginning her own musical career singing the blues in New York Jazz clubs, Russell went on to sing backup for artists such as Al Green, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Isaac Hayes, and David Bowie.
After decades as a powerful back-up singer, Russell decided to make a name for herself as a soloist and has since released four full-length albums. Her debut, Cat, was selected as one of NPR's top 5 Jazz Albums of 2006, and both Sentimental Streak and This Heart of Mine climbed the JazzWeek and Billboard's Jazz Charts. Her most recent album, Strictly Romancin' was released on Valentine's Day 2012. Russell has performed at festivals across the globe including Tanglewood Jazz, Bern International Jazz, Chicago Blues, and Panama Jazz. She appeared at MASS MoCA in 2007 to a sold out show in Club B-10.
As a soloist, Russell digs into the history of jazz and blues, including interpretations of iconic songs from 1920s, the post World War II era, and present-day favorites. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls her "a masterful singer who knows how to inject her own personality into the heart of a great song." Not only an expert vocalist, Russell has also performed on keyboard, guitar, mandolin and percussion.
“After a long, circuitous career path including stints with David Bowie, Paul Simon, Jackson Brown, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash, (Cather Russell’s) return to the family fold has given many reasons for jazz fans to rejoice. Mining a treasure trove of double entendre-laden blues, vintage jazz tunes, and Tin Pan Alley gems, the native New Yorker brings a visceral connection to old-time material, delivering the songs as if they were written yesterday, just for her.” â€“Boston Globe