Women’s Jazz Festival: Catherine Russell & Lakecia Benjamin

Monday, March 30, 2015, 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd
Harlem

Catherine Russell is a New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a native of Panama who moved to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, an outstanding bassist and vocalist, has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Considering her roots and
family pedigree, it’s no surprise that Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind singer and musician. Cat is in demand as a backing singer and multi-instrumentalist, having performed and recorded with artists including Steely Dan, Levon Helm, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Smith, and Rosanne Cash.

Of her debut album “Cat”, (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), she made critic and Sinatra biographer, Will Friedwald’s top 10 list who stated “She is a fresh and original voice. The most exciting debut album I’ve heard in a long time.” “It’s a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell”, wrote the dean of jazz writers, Nat Hentoff, in The Wall Street Journal.

A streetwise New York City native born and raised in Washington Heights, Lakecia Benjaminhas become one of the most highly sought-after players in soul and funk music. She first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, after which she joined the renowned jazz program at New York’s New School University. By that time she was already playing with renowned jazz figures like Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, which led to gigs and tours with a wide array of artists such as Rashied Ali, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin and James “Blood” Ulmer. With her deep jazz roots, she was soon in demand as an arranger and horn section leader, landing stints with such acclaimed artists as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, the Roots, and Anita Baker.

Schomburg Society Members – $25
Non-Membersm – $30

 Doors will open 30 minutes before show-time.

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