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Catherine Russell: Queen of the Armstrong Blues

An interview with the acclaimed singer who successfully transitioned from background vocalist to frontwoman

Catherine Russell
Catherine Russell

Sitting in the audience of a Catherine Russell concert, one can’t imagine that this charismatic pro was once a shy child who only hoped to reach the heights of her distinguished parents (bassist Carline Ray and pianist Luis Russell). That’s how far she has come.

Over the past few years, Russell has been at the top of her game, winning a Grammy for her participation in the 2012 soundtrack to the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and a Grammy nomination for her own Harlem on My Mind in 2016. She appears regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC and curates shows worldwide that explore the history of jazz. During the last year she’s been performing at festivals and theaters with John Pizzarelli, celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. Harlem royalty and elegance radiate from her honeyed voice.

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