Boston-bred, Cathy Segal Garcia loved jazz since the age of 5, when she would listen to and copy Ella Fitzgerald hanging around with her dad (sax player Mike Segal). Surrounded by a musical mother and sisters as well, and starting on flute at the age of 10, she was thrust into many different musical experiences on her way up. She and her older twin sisters started singing with her dad's bands when she was 12. Those gigs and special choral groups and orchestras all throughout her youth led her to college age, when she applied to Berklee for flute and Arranging & Composition, and attended from 1972-1975. Those years developed her path for the future. Loving the older style jazz from her family, she was now embracing her own choices...a mixture of cool jazz, modern jazz, and funk....Miles Davis, Weather Report, Aretha Franklin, Modern Jazz Quartet, Chick Corea, Chaka Kahn, Bill Evans, Tower of Power, John Ambercrombie, etc. What developed in her taste was a love of rhythm, melody and harmony.
After college Cathy moved to San Francisco for a brief period, and, against good willed suggestions, moved to Los Angeles in late 1975, where she settled and still resides. One of the things that has impressed many colleagues, fans and critics over the years, is that she has consistently performed and composed over the years. Performing with literally hundreds of musicians, some of the more well known are: pianist Russell Ferrante (The Yellowjackets), drummer Tom Brechtlein (Robben Ford, Chick Corea), bassist Marc Johnson (pianist Bill Evans, John Ambercrombie, John Scoffield), bassist Gary Willis (Scott Henderson), ledgendary guitarist Ted Greene, guitarist Jeff Richman, guitarist Mike Miller (Chick Corea), saxist Bob Sheppard (Steeley Dan), drummer Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Stan Kenton, Steeley Dan, himself and many modern jazz recording artists), pianist Kei Akagi (Miles Davis), drummer Joey Barron (Bill Frisell, John Scoffield), studio pianist Mike Lang, singer/pianist Diana Krall, drummer John Robinson (Quincy Jones), pianist David Benoit, pianist Billy Childs, drummer Joey Heredia (Scott Henderson, Tania Maria), flautist Sam Most, Pianist Carl Schroeder (Sarah Vaughn, head of the piano dept. at M.I. in Hollywood), trumpeter Bill Berry, saxist Don Menza, pianist extraordinare Dave Mackay, guitarist John Pisano...the list goes on and on and on. Their style ranges from bebop to modern jazz.
Her singing and professionalism attracted much notice over the years and now we find Ms. Segal Garcia in demand internationally (throughout Europe, the America's, and Japan); for clinics, private teaching, her jazz compositions, and her live performances and studio recording. In the release of Michele Weir's "Vocal Improvisation" book put out in 2001 by Advance Music, she is quoted along with 20 other illustrious vocalists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby McFerrin, Jay Clayton, Jon Hendricks, just to name a few. In L.A. she hosts monthly workshops which include clinicians from Los Angeles as well as visiting artists from out of state or out of the country...such as Barbara Morrision, Carmen Lundy, Rebecca Paris, Jay Clayton, Julie Kelly, etc, etc. Presently she runs a popular jazz jam session in Los Angeles which has been going all through 2001. In L.A.'s music magazine, Music Connection, she was voted #3 in "The top 10 hottest unsigned acts." Listed in the "All Music Guide to Jazz", her booklet on vocal technique, "Basics For Vocal Techniques" is available through her website, and is now in the process of being translated for sale in Japan. Her singing performances have also won multiple times on cable's BET (Black Entertainment TV) performance contests.
To date, besides singing on CDs, films and commercials, Ms. Segal Garcia has 4 CDs out in the marketplace under her own leadership, and is waiting for the coming out of her 5th...the earliest is titled "POINT OF VIEW"; featuring a varied group of musicians including Russell Ferrante, Gary Willis, Tom Brechtlein, John Heard, Rick Helzer, Clay Jenkins, Wayne Johnson, Loren Pickford. This record is almost completely original music, with 'classic' arrangements by San Diego-based pianist and educator Rick Helzer. Gary Jackson, a critic and writer for the last 30 years, wrote this for the trade magazine 'Black Radio'..."Cathy Segal Garcia sounds like no other vocalist. Her unique and warm vocal style evokes a spirit and empathy in such a way that the listener longs to hear more."
Her next CD is titled "SONG OF THE HEART"...a co-leader project with pianist Phillip Strange, sharing the stage with world-renown modern jazz players, drummer Peter Erskine and bassist Marc Johnson. Several originals by Ms. Segal Garcia are arranged together with 4 standards, and the only recorded vocal version of Chick Corea's composition "Bud Powell". Two out of the 4 standards are bass and vocal duo, with 2 more standards done instrumentally. The quality of musicianship, arrangements and recording is critiqued as "Brilliantly exquisite!", and rated "Best Of The Genre" in the Internet's "Music Blvd." Here's some of what Peter Erskine had to say in the liner notes: "I think that the resulting recording is the freshest vocal project which I've ever been involved in, and it's one of my favorite recordings of the past year...the sound and the music are so honest!".
Also from "SONG OF THE HEART", Cathy's most popular ballad composition, "Diane", has won several awards, including the 1998 JAZZIZ magazine contest, in which it held the auspicious position of the end cut of their CD Sampler. From the same CD several cuts are part of the rotation in the United Airline's Cafe Cabaret airwaves throughout 1998 and in 1999.
Her next 2 CDs were recorded in the summer of 1998, during the same week. The first one, in July '98, after a month-long tour of Japan, Cathy and pianist Phillip Strange recorded their second CD together, "ALONE TOGETHER"... released in Japan in December 1999, and presently looking for other worldwide distribution. This project was entirely standards, done in a modern and free style.
(The 2nd one, a more classic jazz approach, with pianist Ross Tompkins, from Doc Severinson's band on the Tonight Show, "Heart To Heart".