Claudia Russell

“America's Finest Jazz & Blues from America's Finest City”

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Carol Sloane- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

While her name may not be as well-known as some others, Carol Sloane has enjoyed a career spanning more than sixty years.  She began singing at an early age, but hit the jazz scene when she was offered an audition with bandleader Larry Elgart.  She landed the job and spent a few years touring and singing with the Larry Elgart Band.  By 1960, she was done with the road and had started working temporary secretarial jobs, still singing when the gigs came along.  It was when Sloane was singing at a festival in Pittsburgh that her break really happened: Jon Hendricks was there and, after hearing her sing, asked Sloane if she could learn the Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross songbook just in case Annie Ross needed a fill-in. While checking out the group one night at The Village Vanguard, Hendricks invited her to come up and sing.  The club owner immediately offered her a gig...alongside pianist Oscar Peterson. According to Sloane, "I stammered an acceptance, and walked five feet off the ground on the way home".

It was Hendricks who suggested her to the Newport Jazz Festival and in 1961, she made her debut on the Newport Festival stage.  That gig led to a record deal with Columbia Records and her first albums "Live at 30th Street" and "Out of The Blue" with arrangements by Bill Finigan and Bob Brookmeyer were released in 1962.  After success with Columbia, Sloane continue to tour and later signed with Concord Records. She found a particularly receptive audience in Japan, where she would release several more albums.  With over 25 albums as a leader, her career having stops and re-starts, she continued recording through 2010 when "We'll Meet Again" was issued on Arbors records.  A native of Providence, she was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Dianne Reeves- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

Dianne Reeves was born with the gift of music in her blood.  Her father was a singer, her mother played the trumpet, bassist Charles Burrell is her uncle, and her cousin is George Duke. While playing with her high school band, she was heard at a convention by Clark Terry, who then invited her to sing with his band.  In addition to finding her jazz voice, Reeves studied classical voice at the University of Colorado.  Both areas of study are clearly heard in her pure, versatile,  commanding voice.  Her recording career has seen her win five Grammy Awards, including her soundtrack for the 2005 film "Good Night, and Good Luck" in which she played the singer in the studio band.  Watch for scenes with her in the studio laying down music with Peter Martin, Christoph Luty, Jeff Hamilton, and Matt Catingub.   

With over twenty albums to her credit, Reeves has shared her gift of song interpretation, by swinging through the classics of the 1950s, by melding the Latin, R&B, and Pop elements into fresh sounding jazz, and by feeling at home with just a piano accompaniment or stepping out to front a full orchestra.  Her music, the warmth and depth of her voice honor the legends who sang before her and pave the way for the young singers seeking their own mentors and idols.

Dianne Reeves has no doubt made her place in jazz vocal history.  In 2003, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, as well as an honorary doctorate from The Juilliard School in 2015.  In 2018, Reeves was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.  She continues to tour with dates this month in Canada, Sweden, and France. 

Ernestine Anderson- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

It seems like Ernestine Anderson was born to sing.  When she was just a little girl, she was singing in church and hearing her father perform with a gospel quartet...and teaching herself to play piano by ear.  As a teenager, she attended Garfield High School in Seattle and made her professional debut in 1946 at 18, singing with the Bumps Blackwell Junior Band. Another student in the band at the time was Quincy Jones, who would later found Qwest Records and record two Grammy-nominated albums for her.  

Anderson's vocal versatility kept her in demand and she had early work with Johnny Otis's band.  She toured with Lionel Hampton in the early 1950s.  From heartfelt ballads to deep, soulful blues, her sound encompassed it all.  Her first album "Hot Cargo" was recorded in Sweden and released in the United States in 1958.  She would go on to record several more albums for Mercury Records, ultimately recording over 30 albums in a career that spanned six decades.  The 1960s ushered in rock & roll in America, so Anderson split her time between the U.S. and Europe.  She staged a sensational return to American Jazz with a 1976 performance at the Concord Jazz Festival and recorded some of her most acclaimed music for Concord Records, including her signature release, 1981's "Never Make Your Move Too Soon."  She sang around the world, achieving performances at The Kennedy Center, as well as every singer's dream...Carnegie Hall.  

Tierney Sutton- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

Tierney Sutton is definitely more than the “girl singer” with the Tierney Sutton Band.  Rather, she is truly a part of the band, a musician whose instrument happens to be her voice. It’s both a creative approach and a business model that even by today’s standards of equality can seem a bit remarkable. 

Raised in Wisconsin and schooled at Berklee College of Music, Sutton developed a distinct voice in the jazz world, both as a singer and as a creative partner.  After her student time at Berklee, Sutton headed west and moved to Los Angeles in 1993, where she quickly made a name for herself as one of the premier vocalists in Southern California.  In addition to gigging, she spent time teaching vocal jazz at USC and has been the head of the vocal department at L.A. Music Academy in Pasadena.  A nine-time Grammy nominee, Sutton has earned critical acclaim, as well as performing for appreciative audiences worldwide. 

With the Tierney Sutton Band, she has explored the works of Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, and Sting.  The band has actually incorporated as Hollow Reed, Inc., allowing each of the members to have full equality in both creative and financial matters.  The group is celebrating nearly twenty years together.

Dee Dee Bridgewater- KSDS Presents The All-Time Top Listener-Favorite Female Vocalists

With roots in Memphis and a fan base from Paris to New Orleans, multi-faceted singer Dee Dee Bridgewaterhas earned critical acclaim in every area of her career for over forty years.  Bridgewater came into the jazz scene as the vocalist for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in the 1970s and released her first solo album “Afro Blue” in 1974.  She has since successfully fulfilled the roles of singer-songwriter, producer, actress, educator, radio host, mentor, and touring musician.  She continues to fights against world hunger as a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

 In the earlier years of her career, she was fronting the bandstand with such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny RollinsMax Roach, and Dexter Gordon, even the eclectic Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  But, her talents were not limited to jazz singing and she worked on Broadway in the Tony-award winning musical “The Wiz.”  She played Glinda the Good Witch, a role that would bring her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress.  Her multiple stages roles included Billie Holiday in “Lady Day.”  Bridgewater’s musical forays have ranged from classic American Jazz and French classical to African-themed music inspired by collaborations in Mali.  Her albums, “Dear Ella” and “Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee” were not only tributes to the legends who preceded her, but both won her Grammy Awards.  Her current release “Memphis…Yes I’m Ready” takes her back to her hometown roots.  As one of the world’s favorite jazz singers, Dee Dee Bridgewater continues to make musical history.

Jennifer Leitham Previews March 2016 Jazz 88.3 Happy Hour

Jennifer Leitham stopped by the Jazz 88.3 studios to chat with Claudia Russell, host of The Jazz Ride Home (Weekdays, 4-8pm PT), about her Thursday, March 3 appearance at the Jazz 88.3 Happy Hour at the Lafayette Hotel, her recent release "Mood(S)wings", and long journey in Jazz music. Check out the interview and GET HAPPY!

Black History Month

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We’re now into Black History Month in the U.S. Live theaters, concert venues, libraries, lecturer series, even some television networks are celebrating this February with a host of special programming or features. Special. As in, “we don’t usually do this.” That’s where Jazz 88.3 comes in. We celebrate Black History every day. It’s true, we don’t do a lot of feature programming for this national celebration. But, each day we note the musicians who have made jazz and blues what it is today… and what it is becoming for the future.

Read full article at: Black History Month

To the Heart of It - Remembering Dave Brubeck

It seems fitting to me Dave Brubeck died on the way to his cardiologist, on his way to have that great heart of his checked out. It was that great heart that hit its final downbeat today, the day before Dave's 92nd birthday. As the news continues to sink in and I continue think about the incredible person that was Dave Brubeck, I keep going back to that heart. His powerful heart that beat for nearly 92 solid years after his parents welcomed him in Concord, California.