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Sandi Russell

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Biography of Sandi Russell

Harlem-born and classically trained, Sandi Russell is now living in Britain, where she has established herself as one of the most brilliant and versatile jazz singers of her generation. Often compared with the great divas – Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan – Sandi has her own unique vocal style, distinguished by dramatic range and resonance.
Whether interpreting Ellington, Monk or Porter, whether scatting or recreating ballads and blues, Sandi Russell is an exciting performer of exceptional musicality. ‘If you thought Billie Holiday took phrasing to its hair-raising limits’, said Humphrey Lyttleton recently of Sandi Russell, ‘think again!’. Sandi’s last sizzling album can be sampled on her website and she is about to release a new CD combining original material with movingly inventive interpretation and improvisation.

As a native New Yorker, Sandi Russell has sung in many of Manhattan’s most prestigious clubs: Greene Street, Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, The Ballroom, Sweet Rhythm and Mikell's. She has worked with jazz luminaries such as Lionel Hampton, Roy Eldridge, Ellis Larkins, Beaver Harris, Earl May, Don Pullen and Jean Toussaint.

In London, Sandi Russell regularly performs with Dave Newton, Steve Brown and Andy Clyndert at Pizza Express and Pizza on the Park; she has also appeared at Ronnie Scott's, the Riverside Studios, the Purcell Room and the Voice Box on the South Bank. Other venues include The Sage, Gateshead, where she opened the 2007 International Jazz Festival, Durham’s Gala Theatre, Sheffield’s Lyceum and London’s Victoria Palace, as well as many arts centres and universities throughout the U.K.

Extensively interviewed for Voice of America, the BBC’s Look North and Women’s Hour, Sandi Russell has had her own television special for Public Broadcasting in the USA and regularly appears on talk shows, jazz stations and local radio and TV in the UK. In Britain, France and Italy, she has presented her one-woman show ‘Render Me My Song’ to great acclaim.

Sandi Russell has made two previous CDs: Live at Pizza on the Park with the Jon Pearce Trio (1998) and Incandescent with the Dave Newton Trio (2003). She has just completed a new album entitled Sweet Thunder with the Dave Newton Trio, featuring Georgie Fame, David Murray, Guy Barker, Jim Mullen and Alan Skidmore.

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