Catherine Russell

Worldwide

With her sixth album, Harlem On My Mind, Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Catherine Russell journeys to the blue heart of the great African American songbook. Swinging forth with soulful interpretations, Russell taps the golden age of Harlem, as befits this vibrant daughter of jazz. Vocalists Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington provide inspiration where tunesmiths like Benny Carter, Irving Berlin, Andy Razaf and Fats Waller once ruled the roost of a renaissance which continues to reverberate. Of the title track, Russell says, “It’s about not forgetting your roots,” which also serves as her modus operandi for the entire collection. “The album is comprised of songs from artists who played at The Apollo in Harlem, where all African American artists of note appeared.”

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, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Sy Oliver. Russell notes, “My mother was born and raised in Harlem and my father led one of the leading orchestras in Harlem, which was part of the inspiration for this album.”

 

Harlem On My Mind showcases Russell’s honey rich voice in a variety of settings. “I love working with saxophonist/arranger Andy Farber,” says Russell, and here Farber contributes five arrangements for tentet, featuring six horns. Her smaller groups swing equally hard, sometimes with fewer horns and sometimes stripped down to her road tested rhythm section, including musical director/guitarist/banjoist Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean. Don’t Take Your Love From Me features a special guest appearance by tenor saxophonist Fred Staton, of the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, who was 100-years-old at the time of the recording session, playing beautifully. Throughout, Russell and her band shine, whether serving up dollops of aural comfort food, or go for the rafters explosion of fun.

Harlem On My Mind showcases Russell’s honey rich voice in a variety of settings. “I love working with saxophonist/arranger Andy Farber,” says Russell, and here Farber contributes five arrangements for tentet, featuring six horns. Her smaller groups swing equally hard, sometimes with fewer horns and sometimes stripped down to her road tested rhythm section, including musical director/guitarist/banjoist Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean. Don’t Take Your Love From Me features a special guest appearance by tenor saxophonist Fred Staton, of the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, who was 100-years-old at the time of the recording session, playing beautifully. Throughout, Russell and her band shine, whether serving up dollops of aural comfort food, or go for the rafters explosion of fun.

Russell’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she 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. Her 2006 debut album Cat (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), garnered rave reviews, paving the way for her 2008 sophomore release, Sentimental Streak. She was a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, PBS-TV’s Tavis Smiley Show, and NPR’s “Fresh Air”, “Piano Jazz”, “Mountain Stage”, “World Cafe”, and “JazzSet”. Russell’s third album, Inside This Heart of Mine, reached #1 on JazzWeek and Roots Music Report’s radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on iTunes jazz charts. A fourth album, Strictly Romancin’, 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. That same year Russell won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire. Her fifth solo album, Bring It Back (Jazz Village) received a five-star review in DownBeat.

2016 has been an eventful year for Catherine Russell. In January, Russell was featured in an hour-long concert performance on Public Television’s American Songbook as part of the NJPAC series. In February, Russell joined the fellow members of David Bowie’s last touring band, as well as pop-singer Lorde, for a moving Tribute to David Bowie at the 2016 Brit Awards. In April, Russell appeared at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to sing the grand finale at the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters Award Ceremony, and then traveled to Los Angeles for a live taping of Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli. Her concerts, “Catherine Russell: Sunny Side of The Street”, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room in April, which saluted her personal connection to Sy Oliver, were featured on NPR’s “Jazz Night In America.” To support the new album, extensive worldwide touring is slated for the 2016-17 season, including a tour in December 2016 as guest vocalist with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on their annual Big Band Holidays tour.

Tour Dates

Date
City
Venue
Country
Ticket
08/27/17 - 08/29/17
Eliat
Red Sea Jazz Festival
Israel
Catherine Russell
09/22/17
Greenville, NC
Eastern Carolina University Wright Auditorium
United States
John Pizzarelli Quartet with Catherine Russell present: “Billie & Blue Eyes”
09/23/17
Raleigh, NC
North Carolina State University Stewart Theatre
United States
John Pizzarelli Quartet with Catherine Russell present: “Billie & Blue Eyes”
09/25/17
Minneapolis, MN
Guthrie Theater
United States
Catherine Russell
10/07/17
Harpers Ferry, WV
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
United States
Catherine Russell
10/12/17 - 10/15/17
Chicago, IL
Jazz Showcase
United States
Catherine Russell
11/03/17
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall – Zankel Hall
United States
Catherine Russell
11/08/17 - 11/09/17
Granville, OH
Denison University Swasey Chapel
United States
Catherine Russell
11/10/17
Indianapolis, IN
Jazz Kitchen
United States
Catherine Russell
11/12/17
Minneapolis, MN
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
United States
Catherine Russell
11/30/17
Richmond, VA
Modlin Center for the Arts – Camp Concert Hall
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/01/17
Newberry, SC
Newberry Opera House
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/03/17
Orlando, FL
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/05/17
Tallahassee, FL
Ruby Diamond Concert Hall
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/06/17
Gainesville, FL
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/07/17
West Palm Beach, FL
Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts – Dreyfoos Hall
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis with Special Guests Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington
12/08/17
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Symphony Hall
United States
Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis AND special guests Catherine Russell & Kenny Washington
12/23/17
Greate Barrington, MA
The Mahaiwe Theater
United States
John Pizzarelli Quartet with Special Guest Catherine Russell Present: “Billie & Blue Eyes”
01/13/18
Kansas City, MO
Gem Theater
United States
John Pizzarelli Quartet with Catherine Russell
02/01/18
Little Rock, AR
South on Main
United States
Catherine Russell
02/04/18
Greenwich, CT
Greenwich Library - Cole Auditorium
United States
Catherine Russell
02/09/18
Port Washington, NY
Landmark on Main Street
United States
Catherine Russell – Harlem on my Mind
02/10/18
South Orange, NJ
South Orange Performing Arts Center
United States
Catherine Russell
02/24/18
Colorado Springs, CO
Ent Center for the Arts – Chapman Foundations Recital Hall
United States
Catherine Russell
03/18/18
Princeton, NJ
McCarter Theatre Center – Berlind Theatre
United States
John Pizzarelli Quartet with Catherine Russell Present: “Billie & Blue Eyes”
04/21/18
Prescott, AZ
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
United States
Catherine Russell