Critically acclaimed as a prolific songwriter and passionate performer, GRAMMY nominee and award-winning singer-songwriter and composer Celeste Friedman leaves you inspired, as well as entertained. She is the granddaughter of big-band leader Leo Reichert. Her parents are credited for having encouraged young Celeste’s musical talents, when she began the study of classical piano at age six. Throughout her elementary years, she competed successfully in the International Music League competitions, performing the classic works of composers from the 18th century.
"A brilliant raconteur and painter of lyrical portraits."
. . . Legend Magazine
"Everyone should be singing her songs!"
. . . Craig Harris, The Boston Globe
. . . Anna Hovind, CNN News, Atlanta
That Voice . . .
Within just a few years, it was her voice that she discovered was her ideal instrument. It was Celeste’s aunt, an accomplished soprano, who introduced her to an eclectic world of artists. From opera arias to rhythm and blues, Celeste studied the vocal stylings of popular vocalists, developing her own contralto and mezzo-soprano design. At the age of sixteen, she auditioned for a local rock-pop group, in which she performed as lead singer and keyboardist for nearly a decade, touring across the United States and Canada.
A Parallel Journey . . .
In perfect alignment with her music career, Celeste was invited to present her own radio program in the late 1970’s for WNKO Radio in Newark, Ohio, which led to positions as on-air radio personality for WTVN Radio and WBNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio, becoming the first female on-air talent in the Columbus market in prime time. By the mid-eighties, her voice was heard throughout the Midwestern United States and into Canada over the airwaves, in addition to co-hosting, producing and writing for the television series, “Dimension Magazine”.
In 1990, she was employed as the program director and afternoon drive talent for WIJY Radio in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Her interview for the job was playing 18 holes on the Harbourtown golf course. In Hilton Head Island, she met and interviewed the incomparable Martina Navratilova and the late Payne Stewart, along with the upcoming golf and tennis talents we know in the current sports industry.
Interpretation . . .
Celeste has been no stranger to the theatre, embarquing on adventures as the supporting female actress in the Player’s Theatre production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in the role of Kate. As a writer, she wrote and produced a musical for children, “The Quest of the Sixteen Crayons”. Several of her original children’s songs have been presented in school productions across the United States.
From the Heart . . .
Since 2007, Friedman has released four albums, “Every Tear I Know”; “Live at the Bluebird Café”; “The Tide”; and “Single 101”.
She has authored and self-published two books, “Single 101: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Being Single” and “Locked Inside”. As a composer, Celeste scored the music for the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, "The Glory of Living"; the first season of the cable thriller, “Irving Renquist, Ghost Hunter”; the pilot for “The French Kitchen” for The Food Network; and her work was featured in the short film, "Young Folks”, showcased in Festival des Cannes-2008.
Friedman was chosen as one of the 50 writers from the 50 states by the Music for Troops organization, included in the compilation, “All States, All Stars”, featuring her haunting ballad, “Wild Horses”. 50,000 copies of this 3-CD boxed set were sent to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, Music For Troops selected Celeste again for their latest release, "Operation 11.11.09", featuring her ballad, "A Home Run", also nominated for a Pat Weaver Award in 1995.
Celeste has written and produced over twenty album collections for children, creating and presenting for Artists in Schools, including her award-winning musical/historical program “O is for Ohio” for the Ohio Bicentennial. Ms. Friedman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005 for her children’s rock ‘ roll tune, “K.I.D.!”, a part of the compilation, “One to Grow On”. In 2006, SillyBooks.net in Australia designed an animation for her original musing of pirates, parrots and treasure in , “I Sail the Sea”, illustrated by Aija Jasuna, animation by Natalia Vikhtinskaya.
In December of 2001, Celeste traveled to lower Manhattan with donated books for local schools and gifts for Ladder #13. After presenting a concert for children whose lives were directly impacted by the World Trade Center tragedy, she produced a CD collection just for them, “Readapalooza for New York Schools”, featuring her single, “America”. Her visit and contributions were recognized by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Department of Education for the State of New York.
“You can only see properly with your heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.”
. . . Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Author of “Le Petit Prince”
Challenges and Blessings . . .
Celeste Friedman is accustomed to leaping over what to some would be insurmountable obstacles. At the age of thirty-five, she was diagnosed with the crippling disease of rheumatoid arthritis, challenged with painful disability.
" the more I sense a calling to continue to write and perform, the less I understand why I was dealt a bad hand, Friedman says, but God has given me a voice to overcome many road blocks throughout my life."
She refuses to give up, enjoying one mere success at a time against all odds. Celeste believes that her disability is a blessing in many ways, leading to opportunities that may have never entered her life. With every audience, young and old, she shares the mastery of music, claiming its healing power is the reason for her own survival. Boldly forging ahead, she smiles, “don’t allow the twisted fingers fool you”. When asked how she manages the pain, she claims, “on stage or in the studio, all I feel is the music”.
A Musical Anthropologist . . .
Inheriting the influences of the big band sound, Celeste set out several years ago to keep the classics of the 1930’s and 40’s alive, producing programs for the baby-boomer generation and tributes to composers and artists of World War II era. Her presentations are timeless classics of their own, unveiling a world behind the scenes of such prolific composers as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Her shows honoring the great female vocalists of the 1940’s and 50’s, like Dinah Washington, Patti Page and Sarah Vaughan, led to writing and producing the tribute and one-woman show, “You’re Still Mine, Patsy Cline”.
The Road Ahead . . .
Named “A Woman to Watch” by Columbus Monthly Magazine, Celeste Friedman never fails to surprise with her multitude of talents. Her forthcoming album collection reveals personal passions and experiences along her journey in search of healing in “The Road to Santiago”, a reflection of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Always immersed in a diversity of projects, Friedman will soon tour with a live presentation for middle grade and high school girls, a companion to her book, “Locked Inside”, with a mission to inspire and support young women experiencing the challenges of adolescence.
Several years ago, she returned home to Newark, Ohio, back to her roots in the rolling hills and ancient lands of the Hopewell civilization. Her recording studio is often occupied by regional singer-songwriters and resident cats.
Awards and Nominations . . .
2005 GRAMMY Award nomination
2005 Ohioana Library Association Citation Award in Music and Education
2009 Radio Indy GrIndie Award for “Live at the Bluebird Café”
2010 Indie Track of the Year Awards from the Starliner’s Radio Network, The Netherlands
2009/ 2010 Indie Artist of the Year on the Starliner’s Radio Network in The Netherlands.
1995/ 1997 Pat Weaver Award nomination for contributions in television
Ms. Friedman's contributions have been recognized by The Points of Light Foundation, The Ohio State University, Voices of Hope, The Ohio Bicentennial Commission and the Department of Education of The State of New York.
National and International Media Credits . . .
National Public Radio; Music Choice; A Prairie Home Companion; Live! with Regis and Kelly; the ESPN Network. Internationally, her music has garnered global airplay and rave reviews in the U.K., France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Argentina and Australia.
Celeste’s CD, "Live at the Bluebird Cafe", released March 5, 2009, features live performances over the past 15 years from the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville. In 2007, her release "Every Tear I Know" reached #1 in Austria and #4 in Italy.
Discography, Author-Publishing and Composer Works . . .
“Locked Inside”- eBook released in March of 2011
“Single 101: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Being Single”- book released June of 2010
“Single 101”- music CD featuring all of the songs from the one-woman show, a musical and live celebration, 2010. “Barbie’s Got the Blues”, a part of this album is the winner of the 2010 Indie Track of the Year in The Netherlands
“11.11.09”, 2009- Music For Troops, compilation featuring “A Home Run”
“A Baby was Born”, 2009- Christmas single CD
“Live at the Bluebird Café”- March, 2008- featuring 16 live recordings of Celeste’s performances at the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville. For this project, Celeste has been awarded a 2009 GrIndie Award from RadioIndy.com
“The Tide”- June release, 2008- includes original contemporary Christian, Gospel and inspirational songs.
“The French Kitchen", 2008, complete score; Cee French and Paul Harth-Executive Producers
"Psyche Crisis", 2008, complete score; produced and directed by Banjamin King, Benjaki Films.
"Oh Barack!", 2008, campaign soundtrack for promotional video; produced for AmericansForHOPE.org
"Lost In the Dust", 2008, screenplay and narration; produced by Scott Kildall, San Francisco.
"Anatani Aitakute", 2008, vocal production; produced by Tomo Suzuki, Japan
“Irving Renquist, Ghost Hunter”, 2007- complete score; television series for cable, produced and directed by David Grelck for CNGM Pictures, Chicago
"Heavenly Peach”, 2007- complete score; animated short, Juhyun Lee-Producer for the Rhode Island School of Design
"Pharos”, 2007- complete score; animated short, Elena Topouzoglo-Producer for the Rhode Island School of Design
"The Meaning of Life”, 2007- complete score; Blue Sky Movies, Neal Verma-Producer, Houston, Texas
“Suspended”, 2007- complete score; short drama, Kevin McMahon-Producer. Los Angeles
“Young Folks”, 2007-single song feature; 30 min. short, Cee French-Director/Producer of Chiron Films, Inc, Los Aneleges/ New York City, showcased at Festival des Cannes, 2008
“All States All Stars”- 2007, Music For Troops, compilation featuring “Wild Horses”
“Veronika's Birthday”, 2006- “Every Tear I Know”-single song feature- Ponytail Productions, Boston, MA, Jessica Burstein-Producer
“Secret Land”, 2006- complete score; Bellini Pictures, Miami, FL, Ana Helena Ruiz-Producer for the University of Miami
“Regrets”, 2006- “This Is All I’ll Ever Need”-single song feature- Small Potatoes Productions, Boise, Idaho
“The Historic Park Theatre”, 2006-theme song- “At the Park”- documentary, SFI Productions Colorado
“The Other End”, 2006- complete score; Green Line Productions, Inc., Boston, MA, David Willis-Producer
“Soup Stories”, 2006- complete score; animated short, Elena Topouzoglou-Producer for the Rhode Island School of Design
“Angelica's Pirate”, 2006- complete score; Juanabee Entertainment, Vancouver, British Columbia, Tracey Shaeffer, Producer
“Eggshell”, 2006- complete score; Panache Productions, Toronto, Ontario, Nicole Rubacha, Producer
“The Glory of Living”, 2006, complete score- Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, on stage at the Warehouse Theater in Washington, D.C., directed by Michael Chamberlin.
“O is for Ohio”, 2003, original works for The Ohio Bicentennial
“Readapalooza for New York Kids”, 2001, a gift for the children of lower Manhattan, New York
“K.I.D.!”, 2000, written and produced for children’s compilation, nominated for GRAMMY Award in 2005
“Take A Little Step”, 1997, written and produced for the 1997 MDA Telethon, nominated for a Pat Weaver Award
“A Home Run”, 1995, written and produced for the 1995 MDA Telethon, nominated for a Pat Weaver Award
"Little Red Shoes”, 1995, 4-song singer-songwriter EP
Children’s catalog, 2000-2009: 20 CD’s for children and educators- http://16crayons.com
Celeste has collaborated with several film students in short films, documentaries and animation from The Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia College, USC and The New York Film Academy.
Film Festivals and Showcases . . .
Festival des Cannes, France, 2008
Festival 7 Jours Art et Polar, Reims, France, 2008
Festival Della Creativa, Florence, Italy, 2007
Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2007
New England Student Film Festival, 2007
Rebel Planet Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2007
deadCenter Film Festival, Oklahoma City. 2007
Arts Fest Harrisburg, PA Film Festival, 2007
The Long Island International Film Festival, 2007
Asian Arts Festival, Brown University, 2007
Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canada, 2007
Celeste's book, "Single 101: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Being Single", is available on Amazon and The Kindle Store. A complete music CD, "Single 101" featuring songs from the live one-woman show will be available here on CDBaby and on iTunes.
Her latest book, "Locked Inside" for teen girls is available exclusively in the Kindle Store. Contact Celeste directly to book a live presentation at your school or library.
Learn more about Celeste and her music at: www.SongsForCharlieMusic.com and http://CelesteFriedman.webs.com