Friday, November 6, 2015, 4:00pm


Leverett House Theatre, Mill St. (between Plympton & DeWolfe streets)

Catherine RussellPresented by: Learning From Performers
Tickets: Admission Free: No Tickets Required

Vocalist Catherine Russell’s repertoire features a selection of gems from the 1920s through the present—vital interpretations that are bursting with soul and humor. With an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, she has joined the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song. She will lead a master class for undergraduate vocalists, open to observers admission free.

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 longtime musical director. Her mother Carline Ray was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown. Catherine’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.

Russell’s 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’ “Tavis Smiley Show,” and NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “Piano Jazz,” “Mountain Stage,” “World Café,” and “JazzSet.” She has won a prestigious German Record Critics Award and a Living Blues magazine critics poll. Russell's third album, “Inside This Heart of Mine,” reached #1 on JazzWeek and the Roots Music Report radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on I-Tunes jazz charts. A fourth album, “Strictly Romancin’,” was released in February 2012, and 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. Also in 2012, Russell won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series “Boardwalk Empire.”

In 2013, Russell contributed three songs to the soundtrack of the film “Kill Your Darlings.” Her fifth solo album, “Bring It Back,” was released worldwide in February of 2014 on the Jazz Village label, receiving a five-star review in Downbeat Magazine.

With universal acclaim, Russell has performed on four continents. She has been a hit at major jazz festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, JazzAscona, Montreal, Bern, Rochester International, Tanglewood, and at sold-out venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers in Boston, the Dakota in Minneapolis, Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, Yoshi’s in San Francisco, and Pasadena Pops in Los Angeles. All Music Guide says, “Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages.”

Support for this program generously provided by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.