The California Jazz Arts Society
Claremont Presbyterian Performing Arts Series
Former Vocalist with Sergio Mendez
1111 NORTH MOUNTAIN AVE. CLAREMONT, CA 91711
THE CALIFORNIA JAZZ ARTS SOCIETY
Sunday, April 14
7:00 to 9:30
Music has been coursing through smoldering jazz vocalist Andy James’ being since she was a little girl. Twice blessed as a gifted singer and dancer, Andy decided her showbiz act one would be a career as a world-class Flamenco dancer, collaborating with the milieu’s most exceptional. Now, she announces, act two, a career as a stunning jazz singer with an irresistible 40s swing-style debut album, Caravan.
“My father loved dancing, my mother love singing, and I loved my father,” says the Las Vegas and LA-based singer, laughing playfully, acknowledging her respect and affection for both her parents. “I sang as a child, but I went back and forth between singing and dance. Both my parents were always encouraging. My mother was a jazz singer, so that was close to her heart.”
Despite stints singing in a rock band (The Late Late Show), and playing bass professionally (the Australian Tour production of The Rocky Horror Picture), it’s Andy’s gifts as a dancer that first thrust her into the public spotlight. In this realm, she had an inter-continental career, first dancing Flamenco in Australia, and, later, in Madrid, alongside the greatest Flamenco artists of the day, including Antonio Canales, Rafael Amargo, and Paco de Lucia. “Flamenco is based on feeling complex offbeat and synchronized rhythms, and I think that prepared me for singing jazz melodies,”
With the release of her first CD, Caravan, Andy emerged a fully formed artist and, on the strength of her talents, has been able to work with a diverse list of industry heavyweights, including mix and mastering engineer Josh Connolly (Justin Bieber, Santana, Pharell Williams); platinum mastering engineer Bernie Grundman (Carol King, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Prince); in-demand producer Piero Pata; noted vocal producer Zeffin Quinn Hollis ( Les Misérables, The Fantasticks, and Company); and big band jazz icon, Grammy Award-winner and Emmy-nominee Bill Cunliffe.
Charles McNeal, alto
Bruce Lett, bass