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Catherine Russell with SJSU Jazz Orchestra
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.”
Russell will be joined by the San José State University Jazz Orchestra and concert opener, San José High School All Stars.
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Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113 Located between 2nd and 3rd St. in downtown San Jose.
Convenient parking available @ 2nd & San Carlos Garage $5 flat fee after 6 PM
Accessible by BART and VTA (2nd & Paseo De San Antonio exit is in front of the Hammer Theatre)