Vocalist, Composer, Lyricist
Originally from Philadelphia, where she studied flute, piano, ballet and modern dance before attending Temple University on a vocal scholarship, Judi Silvano moved to New York in 1976 and earned a reputation as an improviser, first as a dancer and later as a jazz vocalist. She has collaborated with such jazz artists as Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Gerry Hemingway, Bill Frisell, has sung with Gunther Schuller and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Manny Albam and Robert Shaw in addition to leading her own ensembles since 1990.
Voted three times as one of the Top 10 Female Vocalists in the Down Beat Reader's Poll, Silvano has earned wide acclaim for her talents as a vocalist, composer and lyricist. "Not only is she an excellent singer, but she also composes. Judi Silvano details the lyrics of her songs in a clear fashion that reveals the songs' romantic side, without falling into false elegance or affectation. Ellington would have loved her, that's for sure." (Michel Bedin, Jazz Hot Magazine, France) "Silvano stands out for her upbeat spirit, the pure range of her imagination, and her ability to generate excitement. Silvano is an artist, painting with the broadest brush, creating colorful harmonies and textures, and evoking the best performances from her accompanying musicians." (Jazz & Blues Report)
Her original compositions can be heard on her four CDs as a leader: Dancing Voices (JSL Records, 1992), Vocalise (Blue Note Records, 1997), Songs I Wrote Or Wish I Did (JSL Records, 2000), and Riding A Zephyr, her duo album with pianist Mal Waldron (Soul Note/Black Saint Records, 2002.)
What the reviews are saying: "On Riding a Zephyr, Silvano and Waldron wrap around each other with ease and fluidity, blending their instruments in a manner that makes the session feel like the meeting of two old friends." (Jason Koransky, DownBeat Magazine) "Waldron creates textures bathed in deep emotional beauty, setting the mood for Silvano who wraps herself round it for a stunning piece of work. Silvano has a pliable voice, the timbre deep and warm. On "Finding My Love" she builds the atmosphere convincingly, making loneliness a wrenching experience." (Jerry D'Souza, AAJ) "Throughout Riding A Zephyr, Waldron lays down his distinctive rumbling bass chords with his left hand and doesn't play more than is needed with his right. Silvano's singing is a good match; for she aims for the heart of a song and hits her target. (Alan Lankin, JazzMaTazz) "Riding A Zephyr is a winning combination that will please jazz fans everywhere." (Lee Prosser, Jazzreview.com)
In addition to her jazz albums, "Sound Garden: Volume 1: Spirit Music " (Music for Yoga and Meditation) is due out in 2003 on JSL Records, and there is an album in the works of her mother's favorite Standard songs with arrangements by Michael Abene.
As a sideperson Silvano has been featured on five Joe Lovano CDs on Blue NoteRecords as well as Worlds: Live in Amiens (Evidence). She is featured on Kenny Werner's Paintings (Pioneer-Japan), Lori Dobbins' Sketches for Silvano on Inspirations (Capstone Records, Contemporary Composers), James Emery's Fourth World (Between the Lines), and on Secret Ellington produced by Todd Barkan featuring newly discovered works by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn (New Life Records). She has been heard on NPR's "Jazz Set", a BET-TV profile of her band, televised broadcasts of The Montreal Jazz Festival and she has written columns for AllAboutJazz.
Silvano tours worldwide as a leader and with Joe Lovano and leads a number of groups including her STANDARDS QUINTET with Janice Friedman, Ron Blake, Scott Lee and Newman Taylor-Baker; her new music quartet CLEOME with bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Gerry Hemingway and saxophonist George Garzone; and VOICES TOGETHER featuring Silvano with vocalists Kyoko Kitamura and Marlena Primavera and dancer Maria Mitchell. In addition, she produces an annual Vocal Concert Series in NYC, writes dance scores in collaboration with choreographer Susan Creitz at Muhlenberg College and has inspired a generation of jazz vocalists with her work as both a performer and educator. She has taught at Rutgers University, Banff International Jazz Workshop, the Lake Placid Institute, and in private workshops nationwide. Please visit www.judisilvano.com for more information.