Catherine Russell played at the club 11/30/18 and 12/01/18
Catherine Russell is an American vocalist. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and her mother, the late Carline Ray, held degrees from both Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music.
I know you came from a musical family, but how did you get your start as a singer?
Well, you know, you grow up in school and choirs, and we had music education in school, so I grew up as an alto in the choir, and then did backup singing for many, many years, which I still do. Just all different things, you know.
I met this one who introduced me to that one, who introduced me to this one. That’s how it works in this business. You get out there and meet people, and they hopefully recommend you for things.
How did you go from an amateur to a professional singer?
It’s not really like that. I mean, you get a job here and there that pays, and then you hopefully get more jobs that pay, and then that turns into a living. You don’t just go from one thing and then step through the threshold and you’re a professional. It doesn’t work like that, it takes many years.
I mean, I’ve worked for many, many people including David Bowie; Cyndi Lauper; Steely Dan, whom I’m still a member of that band now, off and on, for the last 25 years; Jackson Browne. Singers in New York City — there’s a pool of us that do a lot of different things. Some of those folks sang with Aretha for many years, and Bryan Ferry, and Luther Vandross. So there’s a group of us, and Lisa Fischer is in that group, who have done a lot of different types of work.
What would you like to say to your fans?
Thank you. Thank you for coming to see us. Thank you for supporting us. And we hope to keep going as long as we possibly can… as long as the spirit guides us to go. So we thank you very much.
What do you think about the club?
It’s a very easy place to sing. It’s very intimate. People come here to have a good time and to forget their troubles for a few hours or whatever. And Mark and Ellen are wonderful hosts, and so it’s a really good spot if you don’t want to go to the city.