Celia Slattery

Celia Slattery

 Somerville, Massachusetts, USA

Celia Slattery is a singer and award-winning songwriter. Celia’s originals weaves elements of jazz, pop and folk/rock with perceptive lyrics inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. She also covers everyone from Ella to Adele, giving context to the music through humor and stories.


Folk/Rock…..Jazz….Theatre. Celia Slattery has taken these disparate influences and turned them into a unique performance style and career.

Celia has performed at clubs, festivals, and performing arts centers throughout the United States and abroad, including Ryles and Scullers jazz clubs in Boston, Bridges Bar at the New York Hilton, SoHO in Santa Barbara, California, the Montreal Fringe Festival, and the Bamboo Bar at the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok.

Celia’s back-up ranges from a duo with piano accompaniment to a full band with piano, bass, drums, and guitar. She performs for special events, in intimate clubs and dinner theaters, performing arts centers and outdoor festivals.


Celia’s performance style melds her background in folk, jazz and theatre. As a child growing up in Santa Barbara, California, Celia studied piano and performed in musical theatre.

When her family moved to Washington DC, she was introduced to the topical singer-songwriters of the 60's and 70's - as well as to progressive politics.

A single mother at age 19, Celia managed to put herself through school, earning a degree in theatre and piecing together a career in performing arts..

While living in New Hampshire, Celia debuted as a solo acoustic act at the legendary Folkway in Peterborough, NH. Throughout the 80’s she toured the New England folk circuit, singing original songs at coffeehouses and clubs such as Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass and the Iron Horse in Northampton, while perfecting her covers singing over crowds in noisy bars.

After returning to Boston, Celia expanded her musical horizons with studies in Jazz at New England Conservatory, and she began playing with some of the best musicians in town. The bars got a little better, including a seven-month stint in 1991 singing at the Bamboo Bar in the legendary Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The Oriental, the oldest hotel in Bangkok, was the one-time residence of authors like Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham, and is often cited as the world’s #1 hotel. (The experience is immortalized in the song, “Bamboo Bar” on her Cast of Characters album.)

With help from well-known director Bill Castellino, Celia created a one-woman musical show, Moving Target, a classic tale about growing up amidst the turbulent political and social changes of the 60’s and 70’s. Moving Target toured from 1997 – 2004 at venues such as the Montreal Fringe Festival, the New England Theater Conference, and Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway Theatre.

Currently, Celia performs in clubs and arts centers, featuring her original music as well as fresh interpretations of standards.

She is also touring a show called "First Ladies of Jazz and Pop" which features music of trail-blazing American women, from early blues singers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, to sixties songwriters and early rockers, all the way to the present. The music is woven together with a compelling narrative, exploring how these figures were affected by their times, and how they in turn brought about change through their enduring music..


Distant Thunder

Written By: Celia Slattery

Distant Thunder

1. Nine AM in my local cafe,
reading the news while I sip my latte
Interview with a family of a young man
Who's been missing since last week.
His name is Specialist Jimenez
And they still have hope, his cousin says
They found his buddy in the Euphrates
Still they haven't stopped praying for his release

But the people walking by
Don't hear a single cry
Only the far-off sigh
of Distant Thunder

2. Five PM pour a glass of red wine
Watching TV as I try to unwind
Some small town kids in Ohio
Working on an '85 Camaro
They want to get it running for Keith
He loved that car, worked on it every leave
He said "Have it ready for me when I get back"
So they'll dress up in black,
Drive it down the Main Street

But the people walking by
Won't hear a single cry
Only the far-off sigh
Of Distant Thunder
And we go on with our lives
While others pay the price
And never hear the cries of Distant Thunder

A thousand distractions fill my day
And the dark clouds feel so far away
Guess it's easy to ignore
The gathering storm
Till the lightning strikes near you.

But the people walking by
Won't hear a single cry
Only the far-off sigh
Of Distant Thunder
And we go on with our lives
While others pay the price
And never hear the cries of Distant Thunder

Bamboo Bar

Written By: Celia Slattery

Verse 1:
In the city of temples
There’s a place you can go
To meditate on a gin fizz
And catch a live jazz show.
Outside, the scent of orchids
Inside, it’s Cuban cigars
Gilded wood, and cushions of silk
And you know you’ve journeyed far.

At the Bamboo Bar
You might meet a queen or a movie star
At the Bamboo Bar
At the Bamboo Bar

Verse 2:
The waitresses start to giggle
What a sight to behold
She’s a slender teenage beauty
He’s foreign, he’s fat and he’s old
But “Ma Pen Rai” means no big deal
Buddha blesses every soul
From the strippers down in Patpong
To the monks with their begging bowls

At the Bamboo Bar
You might meet a prince or a movie star
At the Bamboo Bar
At the Bamboo Bar

Tomorrow morning you’ll go back
To the job and the life that you planned
But tonight for the price of a drink
You could feel like the King of Siam.

Verse 3:
Pat starts his solo
And the crowd calls for more
He learned to play American jazz
During the Vietnam war
Pat calls “As Time Goes By”
I grab the mic and start my song
I’m ten thousand miles from home
But for a moment I belong

At the Bamboo Bar
You might meet a sheik or a movie star
At the Bamboo Bar
Where your dreams can take you so very far
At the Bamboo Bar
At the Bamboo Bar


Cast of Characters - full length CD Oct 2008
Cover Story - EP 2007
Movin' On - full length CD - 2001

Set List


I Remember You
T'aint Nobody's Bizness
Blue Skies
At Last
NIght and Day
God Bless the Child
How HIgh the Moon
Lady SIngs the Blues
I've Got you Under My Skin
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Night and Day


Love Will Come Around
To Make You Feel My Love
Crazy Love
Both Sides Now
Come Away With Me
How Sweet it Is
Shower the People
Knocks me Off My Feet
Nick of Time
You Don't Know Me
Hi Flyin' Bird


Nowhere Fast
Bamboo Bar
Distant Thunder
Sit Down and Tell Me About your Day
Movin' On
Another Sleepless Night
No Return