The innovative jazz singer Mark Murphy said it best:
“Linda Ciofalo is an absolute bundle of joy. Wait ’til you hear her sing, you’re in heaven!”
Ciofalo’s repertoire ranges from such diverse sources as bluesman John Lee Hooker to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway. Her voice can be both hard-hitting and gutsy, or lend itself to pure romance . “…she is blessed with a voice as warm, bright and shimmering as a smog-free country morning.”Jazz Times.
At an early age she was accepted to New York City High School of Music and Art but due to parental disapproval of her musical aspirations, she was not allowed to attend. Subsequently, in later years she attended evening classes for classical vocal technique and musical theater at Julliard.
Inspired by a televised performance of Sarah Vaughn, Ciofalo’s interest in vocal jazz was piqued. In the mid-80s, she competed with 300 singers to clinch the coveted featured vocalist spot in The Big Band Association 18 piece jazz orchestra. She has lent her voice to recordings as a backup vocalist and worked steadily as a vocalist versed in a variety of genres, from punk to reggae to classical. In 1999, a desire to sing music solely of her own choice paved the way for Ciofalo to form her own band. With her love for jazz and arranging music as a base, she recorded a CD of standards, jazz-pop and original works. Her debut jazz recording Take the High Road, took on a life of it’s own and brought her to the attention of a much wider audience. Very well received by critics and fans alike, it was rated 5 stars by Jazzreview.com. It led to performances at major New York clubs such as the Blue Note, Iridium, the 55 Bar, Old Westbury Gardens and the Long Island Distinguished Artists series. Beside headlining with her own groups, Ms. Ciofalo has also shared the stage with Jazz legends including her mentors vocalist Mark Murphy and guitarist Les Paul who advised her to change her last name because he,as well as others had so much difficulty pronouncing it [see ‘ah fellow].
a spirited singer with a bright , flexible voice and a firm grasp of bop and blues. ~ Time Out NY
Ciofalo released her second CD, Sun Set, in the fall of 2007. In his review for Rifftides – Arts Journal , Doug Ramsey writes “Matt Wilson, the drummer on the CD, suggested that I would like Ciofalo. I do. She is adventurous, but not to the point of disrespecting the material…uses time play in her phrasing without losing rhythmic consistency and has a light, creamy voice that now and then drops to surprising depth. “ Music producer Joel Dorn wrote in his liner notes “I’ve had the good fortune to work with some terrific female singers, so you’ll forgive my hubris if I tell you I know what I’m talking about when it comes to chick singers, Linda’s the real thing. I really hope that somewhere along the way she catches a break and gets the chance to ride the wave that takes all dreamers to the sweet place. She really deserves it.”
Since its release, Sun Set has received major airplay, and has been voted as one of the top Vocal CD’s of 2007 CD’s by Jazz Police and All About Jazz. Following her release performance at Kitano N.Y.C., Linda completed a very successful West Coast Tour and was invited to perform in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Diet Coke Women’s Jazz Festival in Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola to a sold out crowd.
Vocalist Linda Ciofalo an advocate/activist of arts-in-education, was recruited by the Lincoln Center Institute/Tilles Center Education Outreach as a Music Teaching Artist in the New York State public school system, and is the head of the jazz vocal program for the Long Island High School for The Arts in Syosset, N.Y. In addition Ciofalo has received awards from NYSCA, NYFA and National Council of PTA among others.
Ciofalo’s third recording project, released in the summer of 2010 is one that has always been near and dear to her heart — a Johnny Mercer tribute. Says Ciofalo, “Johnny Mercer’s lyrics dance on a singer’s lips. His words are intoxicating and sheer pleasure to sing, which may be why the greatest singers in the world have, and continue to, record his music. It was no easy task making song choices for this project. I was lucky enough to work with some of the best instrumentalists in Jazz today, including pianist John DiMartino, trumpeter Brian Lynch, saxophonist Joel Frahm, guitarists Paul Meyers and Chieli Minucci, bassist John Benitez, drummer Ernesto Simpson and percussionist Little Johnny Rivero. In the course of the project’s evolution, there was a pull toward Latin rhythms and grooves, and we went with it. It was my intent to pay tribute to Johnny Mercer with a recording which is both romantic and moving. We hope it will make your heart feel like dancing…”
“Moody, magical, musical classic-this wonderful 13 song Johnny Mercer tribute is worth the wait. Creatively, Linda and her exceptional pianist John Di Martino have arranged and produced a major work of art.” ~ In Tune International
“Sassy, Salty and Sultry”- SF Chronicle