Kate Paradise was born in Fort Worth, Texas on June 23, 1981 but spent a majority of her childhood in southern New Hampshire, about an hour outside of Boston. Her interest in music began at an early age, singing with her mom in church and taking piano lessons from her pastor. Excelling in small but supportive music programs, taking on leadership roles in the choirs and singing in the high school big band, she auditioned and participated in numerous New Hampshire Music Education Association All-State and Jazz All-State choirs.
The summer of 1998 saw Kate attending the Berklee College of Music Summer Performance Program in Boston, Massachusetts and receiving her first formal voice training. Encouraged to further pursue her interest in jazz, a year later she enrolled at the University of Miami School of Music and spent six years earning her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Studio Music and Jazz Vocal Performance.
Paradise has received Downbeat Magazine’s student award for Outstanding Solo Jazz Vocal Performance and Jazz Vocal I, University of Miami’s top jazz choir. She has taught singing as a graduate assistant and began an active performing career as a jazz singer, appearing with Kurt Elling, Kevin Mahogany, Eliane Elias, Carmen Lundy, Claudia Acuna and Will Lee.
In 2005 she moved to Vermont accepting the position of jazz vocal educator at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Johnson State College and Saint Michael’s College. Continuing her performance career she quickly became a local favorite and in 2006 Kate released her debut CD, You Stepped Out of a Dream, on Sonic Mirage label. She is accompanied by pianist Joseph Davidian, bassist John Rivers, Geza Carr on drums, guitarist Nicholas Cassarino and John McKenna playing tenor saxophone.
In 2007, the track Mean To Me from You Stepped Out of a Dream was selected for Putumayo’s international release Women of Jazz. Currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, vocalist and educator Kate Paradise continues to perform, pursue her DMA, hold down a full time instructor of commercial voice position and is the director of the Downbeat award winning jazz vocal group, Jazzmin, at Belmont University.
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Marilyn Moore was born on June 16, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. She began her singing career during the 1950s and recorded only one solo album as a leader on the Bethlehem label titled Moody Marilyn Moore in 1957.
Her vocal style was similar to Billie Holiday’s, and according to jazz critic Will Friedwald, the two were friends. When Marilyn was an aspiring teenager vocalist in California she wrote her for advice. They wrote some thirty letters to one another during the 1940s. Holiday encouraged her and advised her to look up producer John Hammond when she arrived in New York City.
Vocalist Marilyn Moore, the first wife of saxophonist Al Cohn, who played on her album and the mother of guitarist Joe Cohn, passed away on March 19, 1992 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
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Denise Donatelli was born May 26, 1950 in Allentown, Pennsylvania and began playing piano at the age of three and studied classical piano for 15 years, winning first place awards in the National Federation of Music Clubs’ piano competitions three consecutive years. After college she set her musical career aside for marriage and family and did not begin singing professionally until her sons were in their teens.
While living in Atlanta, Georgia she was encouraged to return to music after attending a jam session that attracted the region’s top players, including guitarist Russell Malone. she sang several songs with Russell, and began getting calls for performances. When veteran blues singer Francine Reed joined Lyle Lovett’s band, Donatelli joined the three-nights-a-week engagement at the Ritz-Carlton.
A career at Turner Broadcasting Network gave her contact with Los Angeles-based associates and an introduction to arranger Neal Hefti. One thing led to another and Denise was soon recording studio spots for episodes of The Simpsons and television promos for Frasier, Card Sharks and Turner Classic Movies as well as national and international commercials for CNN, Hyundai, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and others, as well as performing You Only Live Twice as a parody theme song on The Simpsons, Season 25, Episode 4 YOLO.
Donatelli has also been heard performing and recording with Bill Cunliffe, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway, Tamir Hendelmen, Larry Koonse, Julian Lage, Peter Sprague, Bob Sheppard, Joe LaBarbara, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Christian Jacob’s Big Band Theory, Alf Clausen and his Jazz Orchestra, and the Stan Kenton Alumni Band.
She has been nominated four times for Grammy awards for her 2010 release When Lights Are Low for Best Jazz Vocal Album and another for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist, her 2012 release Soul Shadows for Best Jazz Vocal Album and in 2015 with Find A Heart for Best Jazz Vocal Album.Denise has been honored by the Los Angeles Jazz Society with Jazz Vocalist of the Year Award, and Downbeat Magazine named her in the top ten of the 61st Annual DownBeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Female Jazz Vocalist category.
Vocalist Denise Donatelli continues to tour extensively gracing the stages of jazz festivals, jazz clubs, performing art centers, and with university jazz bands where she conducts master clinics.
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Clare Teal was born May 14, 1973 in Kildwick, Yorkshire and developed an interest in jazz from an early age, through her father’s collection of 78 rpm records. She became obsessed with big band singers like Ella Fitzgerald and big bands like Joe Loss. Taking music lessons first on the electronic organ, then more formally on clarinet, before studying music at Wolverhampton University. While there she found herself without a clarinet for an unexpected examination.
Deciding to sing, after graduation, she started a career in advertising, singing in her spare time with amateur and semi-professional bands. She recorded her first album Nice Work in 1995 but her big break came when she was asked to stand in for Stacey Kent at a weekend festival in Llandrindod Wells. This led to a three-album contract with the jazz label Candid Records and her popularity soared, with appearances on radio and television bringing her to the attention of a wider public. In 2004 Clare released her debut album Don’t Talk for Sony Jazz in what was the biggest recording deal by any British jazz singer. It topped the jazz charts and entered the UK Top 20 UK Albums Chart.
While the majority of her recordings are cover versions of standards, her albums feature original songs and contemporary cover versions, Teal has toured throughout the UK and the world, with her pianist, trio, mini big band, or Hollywood Orchestra. She has worked with the Hallé Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and the John Wilson Orchestra as well as other top big bands.
Her concerts have been broadcasted across the BBC radio and television network, opened for Liza Minnelli, collaborated with Van Morrison, won British Jazz Vocalist of the Year for three years and BBc Jazz vocalist of the Year among others. Vocalist and songwriter Clare Teal has recorded fifteen albums and continues to perform and record.
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Barbara Dane was born May 12, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan. Out of high school she began singing regularly at demonstrations for racial equality and economic justice and while still in her teens, she sat in with bands around town and won the interest of local music promoters. Getting an offer to tour with Alvino Rey’s band, she turned it down in favor of singing at factory gates and in union halls.
Moving to San Francisco,California in 1949, Dane began raising her own family and singing her folk and topical songs around town as well as on radio and television. When a jazz revival was then shaking the town by the 1950s she became a familiar figure at clubs along the city’s Embarcadero with her own versions of women’s blues and jazz tunes. New Orleans jazz musicians like George Lewis and Kid Ory and locals like Turk Murphy, Burt Bales, Bob Mielke and others regularly invited her onto the bandstand.
Her first professional jazz job was with Turk Murphy at the Tin Angel in 1956. Ebony Magazine did a seven page spread on the alto voiced songstress who would moan of trouble, two-timing men and freedom aided and abetted by some of the oldest names in jazz who helped give birth to the blues, with photos of her performing with Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Clara Ward, Mama Yancey, Little Brother Montgomery and others.
By 1959 she appeared with Louis Armstrong on the Timex All-Star Jazz Show hosted by Jackie Gleason. She went on to tour the East Coast with Jack Teagarden, appeared in Chicago with Art Hodes, Roosevelt Sykes, Otis Spann and others, played New York with Wilbur De Paris and his band, and appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson as a solo guest artist. She would guest perform on The Steve Allen Show, Bobby Troop’s Stars of Jazz, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
In 1961, the singer opened her own club, Sugar Hill: Home of the Blues, on San Francisco’s Broadway in the North Beach district, with the idea of creating a venue for the blues in a tourist district where a wider audience could hear it. There Dane performed regularly with her two most constant musical companions: Kenny “Good News” Whitson on piano and cornet and Wellman Braud, former Ellington bassist.
During the Sixties while working as a solo performer on the coffeehouse circuit Barbara also became an activist in the peace and civil rights movements, touring around the nation and performing at demonstrations and anti-war establishments worldwide and became the first U.S. musician to tour post-revolutionary Cuba.
In 1970 Dane founded Paredon Records with husband Irwin Silber, a label specializing in international protest music. She produced 45 albums, including three of her own, over a 12-year period. The label was later incorporated into Smithsonian-Folkways, a label of the Smithsonian Institution, and is available through their catalog. Arhoolie Records, Tradition Records, Runt Distribution, and DBK Works label have issued a compact discs of her music within the last twenty years. She as well has released her earlier blues and jazz recordings on CD on the Barbara Dane CDs site.
At 90 years old vocalist Barbara Dane has retired from music but has left these accolades in her wake: Jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote “Bessie Smith in stereo,” in the late 1950s, Time Magazine stated “The voice is pure, rich … rare as a 20 karat diamond” and quoted Louis Armstrong’s exclamation upon hearing her at the Pasadena Jazz Festival: “Did you get that chick? She’s a gasser!”