Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was born in Panama, emigrated to New Orleans and then to Chicago and New York City, becoming a legendary pianist/bandleader/arranger/composer, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist/guitarist/vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown. Not surprisingly considering her pedigree, Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. A graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Catherine has toured the world, performing and recording with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Smith, Toshi Reagon, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, Joan Osborne, Vince Giordano, and many others, appearing on over 200 albums.
Ms. Russell has performed on four continents, and been a hit on major Jazz Festivals including, Montreal, Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern International, Charlie Parker, JazzAscona, Rochester, Detroit International, Tanglewood, Lotus World Music, Panama, I Love Jazz - Brazil, and at sold out shows at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Sculler's in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, Yoshi's in San Francisco, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Pasadena Pops in Los Angeles. She has appeared on the nationally syndicated NPR shows Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Mountain Stage, JazzSet, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, Weekend Edition, World Cafe, Riverwalk Jazz on PRI, Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, and on national TV on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien on NBC. Reviews and profiles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Living Blues, Blues Review, Downbeat, Goldmine, No Depression, Boston Globe, Newark Star Ledger, JazzTimes, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Hartford Courant, and many more.
In 2012, Catherine Russell won a Grammy Award for her appearance as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. In 2013, Catherine contributed 3 songs to the soundtrack album for the movie Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg.
A sixth album, Harlem On My Mind, was released in September 2016, on the Jazz Village label, receiving a Grammy Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Catherine Russell is that rarest of entities – a genuine jazz and blues singer – who can sing virtually anything. Her voice is full blown feminity incarnate; a dusky, stalwart and soulful instrument that radiates interpretive power yet remains touchingly vulnerable. She launches fearlessly into each tune, getting inside the melody and capturing every emotion. Her repertoire features a selection of gems from the 1920's through the Present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. With an off-the beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell joins the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.
Catherine Russell – vocals
Matt Munisteri – guitar, music director
Mark Shane – piano
Tal Ronen – bass
Mark McLean – drums