Capping off a stellar year, vocalist Catherine Russell returns to the New York City area in December to finish out 2014 in a flourish. Performing in a variety of settings, Catherine swings into the New Year with seasonal fare and classics of blues, swing, and jazz from her latest highly acclaimed album, Bring It Back (Jazz Village).
Saturday, December 6: Russell reunites with Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks for the annual Chazen Jazz Concert at Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Center in Suffern, New York.
Monday, December 8: Russell leads her sextet as the featured entertainment for the Louis Armstrong House Museum's annual GALA at Capitale in Manhattan with a program that will explore varied and sometimes overlooked chestnuts from Satchmo's vast repertoire, from New Orleans to Swing to The Great American Songbook.
Thursday, December 11: Russell and her quartet celebrate the Holidays with a free to the public, noon concert, in downtown NYC at The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, performing seasonal tunes from favorites to the less well known.
Saturday, December 13: Ladies Sing The Blues (with Catherine Russell and Charenee Wade fronting a 7 piece band) visits McCarter Theater's Berlind Theatre in Princeton, NJ, for an evening paying homage to '20s and '30s female blues singers like Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, and Ethel Waters, with arrangements based on the original recordings.
Tuesday, December 23: Russell makes her debut appearance at Jazz Standard as featured vocalist with Andy Farber's After Midnight Orchestra, the wonderful 18-piece band that recently wowed Broadway audiences. Leader, saxophonist, and arranger Andy Farber wrote arrangements and played on Catherine's two most recent albums, Bring It Back and Strictly Romancin', and will delve into that catalogue as well as unveiling new big band arrangements.
Saturday, December 27: Russell and her trio venture to New England for a first ever visit to The Side Door, a wonderful new jazz venue in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Wednesday, December 31: Russell and her trio ring in the New Year with a New Year's Eve show at Shanghai Jazz in Madison, New Jersey for the 4th consecutive year.
Looking back at 2014, the highlights are bountiful. Russell's fifth album, Bring It Back, was released worldwide in February on Harmonia Mundi's Jazz Village imprint, and quickly garnered a rare 5 star review in Downbeat Magazine, whose writer Allen Morrison said, "By not trying to be modern, she has paradoxically created something new, retooling vintage tracks with soulful vocals and striking new arrangements that burnish the blues and swing feeling that is the bedrock of jazz." Bring It Back was also embraced by radio, spending five months at #1 on Roots Music Report's Jazz Album Chart, while also reaching #1 on CMJ's Jazz Chart, #1 on the European QOBUZ Jazz Chart, and #2 on JazzWeek.
Russell's Bring It Back tour commenced with sold-out Valentine's Day shows at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, broadcast live on WGBH. Of her New York City album release concert at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, DownBeat Magazine raved: "What really makes her special, however, is not so much her technical gifts-it's her innate sense of swing, mastery of phrasing and her actor's ability to fully inhabit a song's lyrics."
Additional 2014 touring brought Russell from coast to coast in the U.S., and to Europe and Asia, including her first ever five city sold out visit to Israel. Festival appearances included Savannah Music Festival, Greensboro North Carolina's 17 Days Festival, Manhattan's New York Hot Jazz, Rochester International Jazz Festival, San Jose Summer Fest in California, Jazz at Roland Garros (broadcast "live" on TSF Jazz Radio) and Nancy Jazz Pulsations in France, and SibeJazz in Novosibirsk, Russia, among others. "Catherine Russell ruled the roost, delivering a typical revelatory set", wrote Andrew Gilbert in JazzTimes reviewing San Jose Summer Fest. And after witnessing Russell's return to the Rochester Jazz Festival for a fifth year, the Democrat and Chronicle's Jack Garner noted, "Fest favorite Catherine Russell brought her typical fun-loving stage presence, a rare and deep understanding of the jazz and blues traditions, and a wonderful robust voice."
Touring continues into 2015 with select Catherine Russell appearances as follows:
Friday, January 9 / City Winery (APAP showcase) / New York, NY
Saturday, January 17 / Jazz on the Mountain at Mohonk Mountain House
(w/ Carolyn Leonhart, LaTanya Hall) / New Paltz, NY
Saturday, February 14 / WP Presents at the Shea
Performing Arts Center (Valentines Day Concert) / Wayne, NJ
Thursday, February 19 / Tribeca Performing Arts Center
(Highlights in Jazz 42nd Anniversary) / New York, NY
Sunday, February 22 / NJPAC - Dorthaan's Place Jazz Brunch / Newark, NJ