Judith Kay is a one-of-a-kind jazz singer-guitarist, devoted to two enduring musical genres - the great American popular songs of the 30's and 40's, and the great bossa novas of Brazil, as sung in the original Portuguese.
She is a composer, lyricist and arranger - artfully melding jazz and Brazilian influences. The result is a fresh, classy, intimate blend. She directs her group, ChamberJazz Ensemble, the core of which consists of Judith Kay on guitar and vocals, Tony Miceli on vibraphone, and Madison Rast on acoustic bass.
For the last twenty years Ms. Kay has performed her captivating repertoire of Brazilian bossa nova and swing-era jazz throughout the U.S. and Europe. Temple University Jazz Radio's announcer Dr. Jack Buerkle says of Judith Kay, "... Fluent in Portuguese, [she] brings to her work an authenticity often missing in other non-Brazilians with only a casual understanding of the [Brazilian] culture." New Orleans jazz radio personality Rodger Collins has said "She's a fine singer and wonderful entertainer, and dedicated to the cause [of Brazilian music]".
Since 1986, Ms. Kay has produced five recordings on her label, "Tasty." Travels to Rio de Janeiro inspired her CD, "Sounds Like Brazil," a recording of her own Brazilian-influenced jazz compositions. Her most recent CD is the 2002 release, "Judith Kay: Her Voice, Her Guitar, Volume 2." This solo effort features a set of smooth and often sly American and Brazilian melodies set to sublime harmonies. Ms. Kay is currently at work on a sixth CD.
By the way, in December 2004 Mark Sabbatini, at allaboutjazz.com reviewed the Judith Kay's ChamberJazz recording "Not Your Usual Christmas Album". He called it a "rare gem". See this link to read the details http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=15616
Aside from performing and writing, Ms. Kay is dedicated to creating new, young audiences for jazz. In 1995/96, she developed and taught a course for the University of Delaware, called "The Brazilian Sound - Its African Roots and Influence on American Jazz." In 1997, she co-founded the Arden Jazz Gild [sic], a society devoted to the promotion and preservation of American jazz.
A former student of the late, internationally-recognized composer/arranger Manny Albam, Ms. Kay has received numerous awards and honors, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the first of its kind for composition and arranging. In addition, she has received several Individual Artist Fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, in both Composition and Jazz Performance. An active composer crossing many musical disciplines, Ms. Kay has recently completed a choral commission, with lyricist Cecilia Vore, for the Berkshire Chorale, of Reading, Pa.
Several years ago, Judith Kay's career was held up by a severe case of repetitive strain injury which left her unable to play her beloved guitar for almost five years. Physical therapy and other healing regimens gradually paved the way for a return to guitar performance in the last five years. (See Paul Ford's story on Judith Kay, "Song of the South," in the online magazine, Brazzil.)
Judith Kay continues her commitment to music and jazz education as she enters her 20th year as private teacher of guitar, voice and music theory at her home studio in Arden, Delaware.
Judith Kay's recent performance venues include:
* The Philadelphia Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
* Hagley Museum, Wilmington, DE
* Mt Gretna Playhouse, Mt Gretna, PA
* Mid-Atlantic Chamber Music Society
* Smithbridge Winery, Chadds Ford, PA
* Commerce Square, Philadelphia, PA
* Berks Jazz Festival Kickoff Event / Jazz Vespers at First Baptist Church, Reading, PA
* Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
* Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Trossingen, Germany
* Artscape - Baltimore's Festival of the Arts
* The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ
* IDB Bank, Washington, DC
* Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
* Performing Artist Series, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE