Teri Roiger

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About Teri Roiger



Vocalist, Teacher, Pianist, Lyricist, Composer

Teri has been a musician most of her life, starting out on piano and organ at a very young age, and eventually gravitating to her love of singing jazz in her 20s when she heard the music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, and other great jazz artists.

Her latest CD (and 3rd CD as a bandleader) is called DEAR ABBEY: THE MUSIC OF ABBEY LINCOLN and was released on Greg Osby’s INNER CIRCLE MUSIC label in September 2012. Abbey’s music has had a profound influence on Teri’s life as a musician, singer, songwriter, lyricist and pianist.

Over the years Roiger’s musical life has taken many exciting twists and turns. She’s a jazz vocalist, but also plays piano, composes music and writes lyrics. She’s been performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching jazz for many years. For fifteen years she’s been sharing her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm with her students at SUNY New Paltz (New Paltz, NY) where she teaches the History of Jazz, Jazz Voice, and Vocal Jazz Ensembles. She has also developed and taught four courses at Williams College (Williamstown, MA) on the music of Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Brazilian Music, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble Performance.

Teri and bassist John Menegon recorded their first CD with Kenny Burrell on guitar and Jack DeJohnette on drums entitled MISTERIOSO, which includes jazz standards and original compositions. The Monk family approved her lyrics for the Monk composition Misterioso, now titled Listen To Your Soul with her lyrics.

Teri’s composition Still Life is the title track of her second recording. This composition won third prize in the jazz category in the prestigious, world-renowned International Songwriting Competition, a competition recognized by The New York Times as one of the best in the world. The musicians on the STILL LIFE CD include Frank Kimbrough (piano), Gil Goldstein (accordion), John Menegon (bass), and Matt Wilson (drums).

Teri has been active on the jazz scene for many years, performing and teaching all over the U.S., Canada, Italy, Mexico, Panama, France, and Germany. In January of 2012 she performed and taught master classes at the Eighth Annual Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City, and recently spent ten days at the Bolzano Jazz Festival in northern Italy where she taught master classes and performed several concerts.

On September 3, 2012, she appeared at DIZZY’S CLUB COCA COLA with her stellar trio (Frank Kimbrough on piano, John Menegon on bass, and Steve Williams on drums) in celebration of DEAR ABBEY: THE MUSIC OF ABBEY LINCOLN.

In 2011 Teri and John composed and scored the music for the documentary film BEYOND ICONIC about the renowned photographer Dennis Stock. Directed by Hanna Sawka, this award-winning film gives an excellent portrayal of Dennis Stock, who is known for the famous photo of James Dean in Times Square, as well as his photos of many jazz musicians and Hollywood celebrities.

In the summer of 2011, Menegon and Roiger created an ongoing Jazz Series in Woodstock called JAZZSTOCK, presenting local, national, and international musicians to audiences in the Hudson Valley. This is continuing in 2013 and beyond. Stay tuned at: www.jazzstock.com

For more information please visit: www.teriroiger.com email: teriroiger@earthlink.net

Laurence Donohue-Greene, Managing Editor of the New York City Jazz Record, chose DEAR ABBEY as one of his favorite vocal releases in the Jazz Journalist Association’s “best of” list for 2012, and it is featured as one of the five best tribute releases of 2012 in NYC Jazz Record’s January 2013 issue.


“The very fine singer Teri Roiger is one of the few who truly comprehended what Abbey Lincoln did with time, timbre, and phrasing. Most importantly, she is not what they call a clone. Teri absorbed everything into her own individuality, can actually swing hard, sing impressive ballads, and emote the invincible and real feeling of jazz.” Stanley Crouch, author & art critic

Marc Myers, writer for the Wall Street Journal, waxes most poetic about my new release DEAR ABBEY on his blog www.jazzwax.com: "It's brave for any singer to take on songs written by or associated with Abbey Lincoln. The late vocalist had a distinct laid-back style that many singers have found difficult to enter and explore. Not so Teri Roiger. On Dear Abbey: The Music of Abbey Lincoln, Roiger delivers a joyous, deeply felt vocal tribute that gives Lincoln's material fresh consideration…sample Bird Alone and You Gotta Pay The Band. A vocalist who wraps Lincoln's complex songs around her finger."

“With DEAR ABBEY, singer Teri Roiger does something remarkable. She interprets thirteen of vocalist Abbey Lincoln's compositions, maintaining the legendary singer's emotive articulation and dramatic delivery, yet marking each song with her own individuality. She thus pays the ultimate homage to an innovator who blazed her own unique artistic path. Roiger's warm contralto, like aged, fine whisky, is smooth but heady, as heard on her yearning interpretation of Angel Face, a ballad painted with nocturnal shades. She delivers the mixture of melancholy and joy inherent in the classic The World Is Falling Down with a wistful wit, as her bittersweet voice floats over the swells of pianist Frank Kimbrough's earthy tones. An imaginative musician, Roiger has assembled a band of superlative talent on DEAR ABBEY: The Music of Abbey Lincoln.” HRAYR ATTARIAN, January 2013 (www.allaboutjazz.com)

“Renowned Hudson Valley jazz singer Teri Roiger pays tribute to the legendary Abbey Lincoln with her latest release, DEAR ABBEY: THE MUSIC OF ABBEY LINCOLN, and it’s simply spectacular. In this album, Roiger does not copy or imitate Lincoln, but interprets and reinvents her songs with respect and love. The playing here is out of this world, featuring famed bassist John Menegon, pianist Frank Kimbrough, drummer Steve Williams, Greg Osby (alto sax) and Mark Dziuba (guitar) and Roiger’s voice, itself an instrument of monumental skill, with reserved, understated passion. Roiger is a world-class singer. Fans of Lincoln will love this record, as will fans of Roiger, and fans of really, really good music.” DAVID MALACHOWSKI, Kingston Daily Freeman, April 2013

“To hear Teri Roiger is to experience that peculiarly beautiful combination of improvisation, tone, feeling, and phrasing that are distinct elements of jazz freedom. She is made for those who still understand the meaning of the term the real thing." STANLEY CROUCH (Writer & Cultural Critic) one night hearing Teri at the 55 Bar, NYC

Dear Abbey is a beautiful album. The kind of depth that made classic albums in the past, albums that meant something. Teri has interpreted Abbey Lincoln in a way that will be hard to match. Jerry Gordon, WPRB 103.3 FM, Princeton University

“Teri has an intuitive laid back sense of time reminiscent of Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter but with her own uniqueness.” Jack DeJohnette, legendary jazz drummer & 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Recipient

“Teri's choice of Abbey's body of work is impeccable and her voice and phrasing seem to have been specially made for this unique repertoire. Dear Abbey is an incredible love letter to one of our most important American songwriters and artists. I'm more than honored to have been involved in this project!” Brian Bacchus, Producer

“Until recently I had no idea of how hip Teri’s voice is and of how great she sounds. Her phrasing is amazingly horn-like and her tone is killing!” GREG OSBY, jazz saxophonist & founder of Inner Circle Music

“When Teri Roiger sang THROW IT AWAY, one of the songs on her Abbey Lincoln tribute album, DEAR ABBEY, I felt like I was in the presence of a master channeling a master. The relaxed, expressive, syncopated ease and flow of Teri's approach to jazz singing is rooted in voice as instrument-in-the-band…such ease and flow…truly, intuitive expressive phrasing, and a lush middle range full of life lived…like very fine wine. There was a moment in and around the song THE MUSIC IS THE MAGIC when I felt Teri’s phrasing was the deepest I've heard of any singer, in a long time. I had the realization in that same moment that her mastery is of an era of singers who can only sing that way if they've lived through a life of jazz as she has. Yet, the sound is also at the core of everything that is fresh and good, now.” Katie Bull, NYC Jazz Record, on listening to the first set at DIZZY’S September 3, 2012

“DEAR ABBEY is an obviously heartfelt recording that's helped immeasurably by Roiger's impressive musicianship and a vocal timbre that in many ways recalls Lincoln's...a delicate, sultry, sure-handed touch and a flair for drama. Like Lincoln, she surrounds herself with superb sidemen and gives them plenty of room to roam.” Joel Roberts, NYC Jazz Record, Sept 2012

“New York-based Teri Roiger is a terrific, serious jazz singer who deserves a wider audience. Her work is probing, hornlike, a bit daring, reminiscent of Abbey Lincoln, and her repertoire – ranging from Monk to Sting to Strayhorn – is exemplary.” Tom Surowicz - Minneapolis Star & Tribune

“A discovery at the Sunside in Paris, Teri Roiger, somewhere between Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday and Anita O'Day, played with elegance, expressiveness and authenticity.” Jean Szlamowicz, Jazz Hot, Paris

“Roiger’s timbre has a cognac gravitas hinting at the sass of the younger Abbey Lincoln and Lena Horne.” George Kanzler - All-About-Jazz-NewYork

“Teri Roiger wrote the music & lyrics to Still Life, the title cut. I was definitely reminded of Abbey Lincoln. The Bossa Nova has beautiful and deep lyrics, and Teri sang it with a cool understanding.” (listening to Teri at Sweet Rhythm, NYC) Lucy Galliher - Jazz Now

“Roiger has a voice like the finest bittersweet chocolate full of rich, dark, contradictory flavors that miraculously blend to create one of the most original vocal instruments in decades.” Vic Garbarini, Playboy magazine

“Teri Roiger is one of the most inventive-yet-accessible vocalists on the modern jazz scene. She has long been recognized for her modern interpretations of standards and original music, and in September 2012 released an album in tribute to Abbey Lincoln. John Menegon is a tasteful bassist with impeccable credentials, having toured extensively with both David “Fathead” Newman and Dewey Redman. They’re an amazing team.” DAKOTA JAZZ CLUB Dec 2011 (Minneapolis, MN) ANDREA CANTER, JAZZ POLICE

“Teri Roiger’s voice possesses all the expressiveness and versatility required for anything with Billy Strayhorn’s name on it. You want smooth, sexy, sad, pouting, coy, cool, vulnerable, very nasty with lots of ‘tude, you got it. When singing Billy’s tunes, Teri clearly demonstrates she has the necessary soul but she also has the heart, and the affection comes through with every note.” STEVE JANKOWSKI, Jazz Improv Magazine, hearing Teri at the Jazz Standard in NYC

“Her smoky, human voice of experience is a relief to hear. Teri Roiger’s the real item.” LAURENCE DONOHUE-GREENE, Editor, AllAboutJazz, New York

“Teri has a unique quality about her style who brings a lot to the table. She is a voice to be heard.” Legendary saxophonist DAVID "FATHEAD" NEWMAN

Teri Roiger joined the JazzTimes community on Oct 16, 2012