2012 was quite a year for vocalist Catherine Russell and her latest album Strictly Romancin’ (World Village/Harmonia Mundi). The album has received the Prix du Jazz Vocal 2012 (Vocal Album of The Year) from the journalists and jazz professionals of the French Academie du Jazz, at the January 15, 2013 award ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
On January 14, 2013, Catherine Russell took the stage at New York City’s Town Hall to perform at the 11th Annual Nightlife Awards where she received an award for Outstanding Jazz Performer. Reviewing the show for The New York Times, critic Stephen Holden called, “Ms. Russell, a great, subtle jazz-soul singer”…[who] squeezed the last drop of tangy juice out of ‘Romance In The Dark.’”
Strictly Romancin’ also received a Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording at the 28th Annual Bistro Awards Gala on Monday March 4, 2013, at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Both the Nightlife Awards and Bistro Awards recognize outstanding achievement in Cabaret, Jazz, and Comedy. To top things off, Grand Prix du Hot Club de France 2012 was bestowed upon Catherine Russell – Strictly Romancin’. The iconic French organization, Hot Club de France has been giving annual Awards since 1936.
Catherine Russell was the featured guest on NPR’s Fresh Air for an in studio concert and interview to celebrate the release of Strictly Romancin’”on Valentine’s Day 2012. The show was named an NPR Best Interview of 2012, and helped to catapult the album’s success. The album rose to #1 Bestselling Jazz Album on I-Tunes and Amazon, #6 on Billboard’s Jazz Chart, and #1 on JazzWeek’s Chart for National Radio Airplay.
It’s no surprise then that Strictly Romancin’ was an iTunes Best Jazz Album of 2012, and was included in Year-End lists by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association’s Francis Davis (Vocal Album of The Year), as well as Dick Fairley of “Classic Jazz Excursions”, the New York Jazz & Blues Society, and In Tune International Magazine, among others.
It was the No. 1 Album of the Year at WGMC Jazz90.1, and a Best of 2012 at WBGO, KCRW, WKCC, NPR’s Jazz24, and Radio Colorado.
Riding on this wave of success, Catherine Russell had one of her strongest touring seasons ever. In addition to her own concerts and festival appearances, she sang with the Dukes of September Rhythmn Revue (Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs) on a 40 city tour, lending them her “soul-dripping version of ‘Piece of My Heart’” (St. Louis Today), which was “the evening’s first ‘bring the house down’ number” (Chicago Music Magazine).
Her highlights as a solo artist include the Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Breda Jazz Festival, NYC Winter JazzFest and Rochester International Jazz Festival. Downbeat claimed she had “the authority of a scholar and the ease of a cabaret artist” at Monterey, and Nippertown named her Saratoga Jazz Festival set a Best Concert of 2012!
Russell was “a resounding success” at the Lincoln Center’s Allen Room (All About Jazz) fronting a 10-piece Orchestra, and the Charleston Gazette even called her “the real present for the evening” as guest vocalist on Bob Thompson’s Joy To The World holiday concert.
In 2013, Catherine Russell appeared on a full hour interview/performance on Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, as well as the syndicated show Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio, which broadcast her Allen Room appearances from March of 2012 and on a later Ethel Waters tribute.
Catherine Russell continues the celebration with two upcoming New York City engagements as leader in April 2013, as follows:
Monday April 15, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NY, NY, 7:15pm
Catherine Russell with her band in the first time ever that Sidney Bechet Society has had a vocalist as leader~!!! Catherine Russell (voc), Matt Munisteri (g), Mark Shane (p), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Dan Block (sax/clarinet), Ed Howard (b), Rocky Bryant (d)
Individual tickets are $35, available from Symphony Space and also by phone at (212) 864-5400
Thur – Sun April 25 through 28, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Building, Columbus Circle, NY, NY 7:30 pm & 9:30pm nightly
Catherine Russell (voc), Matt Munisteri (g), Mark Shane (p), Lee Hudson (b), Mark McLean (d).
For reservations and additional info, phone 212-258-9595 or visit
For Catherine Russell’s full itinerary and real time updates visit:
Raves for Catherine Russell & Strictly Romancin’ :
“One of the outstanding singers of our time.” – Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
“With a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like the snake…she’s finally claiming her place in the pantheon of 21st-century jazz divas. “Romance in the Dark,” from Strictly Romancin’, shows how strong and sexy Russell can sound.”
- Marc Silver, NPR Song of The Day
“Russell sings in a marvelously full, rich alto and hangs just a hint of a blue scrim over her cheerful, straight-shooting, girl-next-door innocence. Her haunting version of “No More,” with its ’50s-modern arrangement, is easily as good as Billie Holiday’s.”
- Paul de Barros, The Seattle Times
“a strong, rich voice with understated but penetrating insight” – Stephen Holden, NY Times
“…one of the most savvy and sophisticated interpreters of classic jazz and blues” – Andrew Gilbert, LA Times