Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist/composer/bandleader and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, Sy Oliver, and countless others.
Russell’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she was fortunate to work with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Rosanne Cash, and jazz-blues vocalist Carrie Smith, among others. Performing as a backup singer, multi-instrumentalist, and lead singer, before launching her solo recording career, Russell has appeared on over 200 albums. In 2012, she received a GRAMMY® Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack of the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. She performed the award-winning song, “Crazy Blues,” on PBS’s Great Performances special, GRAMMY® Salute To Music Legends 2017.
Alone Together, vocalist Catherine Russell’s seventh studio album as a leader, is a search for truth. Drawing on composers and lyricists of The Great American Songbook—Irving Berlin, Eddie de Lange and Jimmy Van Heusen—along with songwriters from the Swing and Rhythm & Blues eras—Nat Cole, Louis Jordan, and Al Dubin and Harry Warren—Russell invigorates their creations. At the center is Russell’s voice, and while comparisons to Ella, Billie, Sarah, and Dinah abound—while flattering—she has a sound all her own. “Blues infused jazz tunes are the ones I gravitate towards, because they enable me to freely express myself in the moment,” says Russell.
Alone Together features the core musicians of Russell’s touring band, including guitar virtuoso and musical director Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean. Together, they’ve visited four continents appearing on major festivals, while also selling out concert halls from SFJAZZ’s Miner Auditorium in San Francisco, to Zankel Carnegie Hall in New York City, to Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
Catherine Russell combines a pedigree, where classic jazz & rhythm and blues run through her veins, with the sensibility of a lifetime in popular music. On Alone Together, an intoxicating brew emerges. The connections are real and natural, never forced, always true.