Take a simple idea: two-part harmony and an acoustic guitar. Add the sophistication of Ellington, Gershwin and Cole Porter, the rhythmic complexity of Jobim and the playful spirit of Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau and Stevie Wonder and you have Mood Indigo. Dubbed, “a glass of champagne in a room full of beer” by artist David Adickes, this popular Houston-based duo blends the simplicity and lyricism of the folk idiom with the harmonic complexity of jazz to create a wholly unique and engaging sound.
A professional musician from the age of fourteen, Joe Romano has performed all over the United States and in Canada, working with bands and as a soloist. He is the music director for the Texas Theatre Foundation and has been a contributing songwriter for Sesame Street since 1978. Many of his compositions for WinRon Productions have been featured on the Dance Sport competitions broadcast on NBC and A&E. Mr. Romano has performed in concert with Count Basie, Marilyn Maye, Gary Puckett, Delbert McClinton and Rich Little; he was also privileged to work with Jim Henson and The Muppets in the recording studio and on the set of Sesame Street.
Susan Elliott began her professional career in the spring of 1984 when she teamed with Joe Romano to form Mood Indigo. An award-winning studio singer, she has recorded commercial vocal spots for Mobil Oil Corporation, Public Films, AppleTree grocery stores, Igloo products and Treesweet juice; her recordings for Silver Burdett and Ginn have been used in public school systems throughout the world. Miss Elliott is also an accomplished stage actress and dancer, having performed in many productions with Theatre Under the Stars and Express Theatre (Houston), Strand Street Theatre (Galveston) and Stratford on Hudson (NewYork).
Performing together as Mood Indigo since 1984, Mr. Romano and Miss Elliott are noted for their unique arrangements of classic and contemporary jazz melodies and close harmony, accompanied by acoustic guitar, harmonicas and hand percussion. Voted “Best Vocal Ensemble” in the 1992 Public News Readers Poll, these Houston natives have delighted audiences from New York to Newport Beach and across the state of Texas. In January of 1997, Mr. Romano was asked to write a theme song for the special needs adoption agency, Spaulding for Children, for use in its national promotions; he and Miss Elliott recorded the theme, By Themselves, that spring. In June of 1999, they performed at a 75th birthday celebration for former President George H.W. Bush in Houston. 2001 brought two major events for the duo: an invitation to perform at the DStv Performing Arts Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the release of Mood Indigo’s first independent recording, Oh, Solo Duo! (SuBerry Records). That fall, Miss Elliott and Mr. Romano performed a program of classic and original Christmas songs for Stratford on Hudson’s production of A Christmas Carol, featuring acclaimed actor, director and television producer, Al Hyslop, in New York. They reprised that program the following year, and were also featured in Mr. Hyslop’s production of his original musical play, Stories For Americans. In June of 2005, Mood Indigo performed for the Progressive Forum’s inaugural event, featuring the Honorable Mayor Bill White of Houston and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts; subsequently, they have created unique musical programs for Forum events with author Jared Diamond, investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, political columnist Molly Ivans, actor and filmmaker Robert Redford, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Al Gore, kicking off his book tour at the Hobby Center and the opening of his Oscar winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. On April 11, 2009, they were featured performers on A Prairie Home Companion’s “Great American Duet Sing-Off” with Garrison Keillor and The Guy’s All Star Shoe Band.
Mood Indigo’s latest CD, It’s Christmas Eve (Suberry Records), featuring fifteen original arrangements of classic and traditional, seasonal tunes, was released December 2, 2010.