Carmen Lundy
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Carmen Lundy

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


One of Lundy's signatures is immense sonority of tone coupled with frank, speech-like directness of clarity and lyric. These resources, combined with strikingly fresh arrangements, transformed familiar songs. What Is This Thing Called Love? came in after a stomping piano introduction instead of it's usual glide, and Lundy delivered it in a raw, declamatory harangue, as if a query to which she already had an uncomfortable answer.

- John Fordham


Special kudos are reserved for the versatile Ms. Lundy, an operatically trained contralto whose dark lower register bears an uncanny richness and who clearly invested quite a lot into this work, addressing it joyfully and with great expressiveness throughout the evening. Carmen navigated the tricky phrasing on "Lazarus" adroitly, with lone bass and guitar accompaniment, guitarist Steve Abshire bringing the blues truth throughout the presentation. Biblical passages are certainly not the easiest to phrase in a jazz context, but Ms. Lundy seized the task effortlessly through the evening. <br><br> - Willard Jenkins


In the role as principal vocalist, Carmen Lundy's dark vocals and crisp articulation navigated through erudite poise on stately sections like "I Have A Dream" to brimstone passion like "Lazarus (The Baggar Man)." During the more gospel-inspired moments, Lundy avoided the trappings of wailing histrionics that too often typify an ambitious work. Her elegant sense of swing, sass and sophistication fit well within the sumptuous arrangements - John Murphy


Carmen Lundy, the subtle, graceful and hauntingly dramatic singer from Miami, is a performer who clearly demonstrates her absorption of the work of the great American female vocalists like Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan in all her endeavours - Ent.


Listen to this recording (Something To Believe In)of five standards and five originals, and you will feel one gorgeous voice, with rounded phrasing, tonal clarity, the skill to bend a note or elongate a phrase when appropriate, and a way of conveying drama and evoking passion without ever sounding forced... Conclusion: Ms. Lundy belongs in the pantheon, close by Billie, Dinah and Sarah. - Irwin Block


She(Carmen Lundy) is an exceedingly rare breed: a great technical singer who never lets technique stand in the way of her soulfulness... - Brandt Reiter


The gorgeous Something To Believe In is comprised of six Lundy originals and four covers, including a hauntingly beautiful "Windmills Of My Mind" that is, she says, "inspired by Dusty Springfield's voice and the way she performed that song." The album seems overflowing with faith and hope... - Christopher Loudon


Indeed, with a bit of gospel muse
and a just dose of modernism, Carmen Lundy goes on down the groove traced by
the likes of Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, without ever
emulating any one of them, but just evoking their greatness now and then and
truly remaining herself all the way through.
- Guido Michelone


Discography

Something To Believe In - 2003
Good Morning Kiss - 2002
This Is Carmen Lundy - 2001

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

A native of Miami, Florida, Carmen Lundy’s path to being one of today’s most talented, respected and sophisticated jazz singers began at age six, with her first piano lessons. Deeply inspired by her mother, Oveida, who was then lead singer in the gospel group The Apostolic Singers, Carmen joined her church’s junior choir. A passion for music was instilled for life, and it was with total determination that young Carmen began her professional career performing at local high schools as part of the vocal duo "Steph and Tret." It was soon after that she made her first recording, The Price Of Silence, while still in her teens.

Ms. Lundy attended The University Of Miami as an Opera major, but soon discovered that jazz was where her talent really shined. She later graduated with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz - one of the first singers to do so. After working steadily at jazz clubs in Miami and traveling to Europe and North Africa with the University of Miami Big Band in 1977, Lundy moved to New York City in the spring of '78. She immediately began working in jazz circles throughout the Tri-State area, and from Harlem to Greenwich Village, and quickly impressed the notoriously critical jazz cognoscenti and audiences alike. Esteemed critic Gary Giddins stated (in 1983), “Jazz singing stopped regenerating itself about 20 years ago, and it's not hard to see why, so it's with some trepidation that I call your attention to an authentic young jazz singer named Carmen Lundy - she's got it all.” Armed with a devoted following and critical kudos, the uncompromising Ms. Lundy continued to make waves, not just in North America, but in Asia and throughout the UK and Europe.

Carmen Lundy has recorded seven albums as a leader, and has performed and recorded as a soloist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and The Vallejo Symphony Orchestra in a piece written for her by pianist/ composer Billy Childs (The Distant Land). Ms. Lundy's performance history covers a broad range, from big bands to choral works and duos. Ms. Lundy has traveled extensively throughout Europe, The United Kingdom, Brazil, and Japan, at Jazz Festivals and noted clubs (such as Ronnie Scott’s, London), and completed a sold-out engagement in the “Singers Over Manhattan” series, produced by Jazz At Lincoln Center. Ms. Lundy has performed or recorded with such musicians as Walter Bishop Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Ray Barretto, Don Pullen, Kenny Barron, John Hicks, Ernie Watts, Mulgrew Miller, Billy Childs,Teri Lynn Carrington, Jimmy Scott, Kip Hanrahan, Courtney Pine, Marian McPartland, Regina Carter, and the late Kenny Kirkland.

Ms. Lundy's work has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, as well as numerous foreign publications. Ms. Lundy is also a composer and songwriter whose catalogue numbers about forty published songs. Her compositions have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron ("Quiet Times"), Ernie Watts ("At The End Of My Rope"), and Straight Ahead ("Never Gonna Let You Go"), and can also be found on her own recordings Something To Believe In and This Is Carmen Lundy (both for Justin Time), Old Devil Moon (JVC), Self Portrait (JVC), Moment To Moment (Arabesque), Night And Day (CBS/SONY), and Good Morning Kiss (CLR/Justin Time).

After signing to Justin Time in 2001, Ms. Lundy began work immediately on her label debut This Is Carmen Lundy, recorded in May of that same year and released in September. Entirely self-composed, the recording promptly garnered rave reviews from throughout the world, notably from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Far East.

In October 2002, Justin Time re-issued Lundy's much-sought-after 1985 debut album, Good Morning Kiss, with three previously unreleased alternate takes, and remixed and re-mastered using state-of-the-art technology.

The new album, Something To Believe In, with a street date of October 21st, 2003, aims to bring Carmen to her largest audience yet, while maintaining an integrity and dedication to excellence that has been uncompromising from the beginning. It’s a record with a universal theme. From the self-penned opener, “In Love Again,” to the last strains of the classic “Moody’s Mood For Love,” the record is a passionate paean to love - and to life’s search for it. It features Carmen’s core band of pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Curtis Lundy, and drummer Victor Lewis, with special guests, percussionist Mayra Casales, saxophonist Mark Shim and violin phenomenon Regina Carter.

Ms. Lundy is also a gifted actress active in theatre. "Acting," as she recently told Dr. Billy Taylor, "helps me to get more comfortable and acquainted with the art of performance." She performed the lead role as Billie Holiday in the Off-Off Broadway play "They Were All Gardenias" by Lawrence Holder, as well as the lead role in the Broadway show, Duke Ellington's “Sophisticated Ladies," and she made her televis