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GRAMMY®-nominated vocalist Catherine Russell, when asked to characterize her new album, Send For Me, replied, “I love romance that swings.” Send For Me features a baker’s dozen of newly recorded tunes Russell’s eighth album as a leader, meeting a simple exacting standard. “Songs that inspire or touch me in some way. When I find a song I like, it haunts me until I learn it.” Her mission is finding songs that you might not have heard but deserve attention.
Russell’s deep connection to her chosen material is part of a calling. As the daughter of pioneering and legendary musicians, pianist/orchestra leader/composer/arranger Luis Russell, and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Carline Ray, Catherine Russell was born into jazz royalty. In culling material for her new album from the likes of Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Luis Russell, Betty Carter, Kay Starr, Joe Liggins, Earl King, Jack Teagarden, Helen Humes, Frank Sinatra, Dakota Staton, Henry Red Allen, and Louis Armstrong, the vocalist swims in familiar waters. She sings a language that comes naturally, furthering a profound legacy.
Russell’s professional life began at age 7, when she first took the stage as a dancer with Katherine Dunham’s company for four seasons at The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she was fortunate to work with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, Rosanne Cash, Toshi Reagon, and Carrie Smith, among others. Russell performed extensively as a backup singer, multi-instrumentalist, and lead singer, before launching her solo recording career in 2006. She amassed decades of experience touring and recording with cutting edge songwriters and iconic artists, appearing on over 200 albums.
Sixteen years into her solo career, Catherine Russell is on the move. Her band, including guitarist/musical director Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean, has performed at major festivals on four continents, while also selling out concert halls from SFJazz Miner Auditorium in San Francisco, to Zankel Carnegie Hall in New York City, to Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. In addition, Catherine has appeared as a featured vocalist with today’s leading big bands and symphony orchestras including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Count Basie Orchestra, Andy Farber and His After Midnight Orchestra, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Russia, Miami’s New World Symphony, The Philly Pops, and The Pasadena Pops Orchestra. Most recently, Russell joined forces with John Pizzarelli to perform a salute to Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.