Madeline Forster
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Madeline Forster

Rochester, New York, United States

Rochester, New York, United States
Band Jazz Jazz

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Sep
25
Madeline Forster @ Little Theater Cafe

Rochester, New York, USA

Rochester, New York, USA

Sep
18
Madeline Forster @ Little Theater Cafe

Rochester, New York, USA

Rochester, New York, USA

Sep
11
Madeline Forster @ Little Theater Cafe

Rochester, New York, USA

Rochester, New York, USA

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Music

Press


At 21 years old, Madeline Forster should be considered as a key member in the fresh new vanguard of classic jazz vocalists.

The Fairport native shows style and substance with "Just You Just Me," delivering gems from the great American songbook with swing and sass.

From the pure silk of "Stars Fell on Alabama" to the lovely bossa nova "Desafinado" to the confident march of "No More Blues," Forster shows off a big voice to be reckoned with.

- Mark Bialczak, Music Critic - Syracuse Post Standard


Keep your eyes on Madeline Forster. Just 21, this young lady has a lovely voice and is well on her way; a star on the rise, a diamond in the distance. I caught her with her quartet Saturday night at the Little Theatre Café. Her band seemed most comfortable in the bossa nova lane, and though festive and relatively tight, they could stand to lay back a wee bit so we can hear Forster get down. It terms of her material, she stays close to Ella and the songbook. But I've got a feeling there are some Julie London numbers smoldering out there - say "Go Slow" or "No Moon At All," for instance - that she could really knock over the fence. She does, and that's when the trouble's gonna start. Like I said, keep your eyes on Madeline Forster. - Rochester City Newspaper


PROFILE: Madeline Forster
Madeline's got it good (and that ain't bad)
By Frank De Blase on Jul. 30th, 2008
Seven months ago Madeline Forster saw herself heading off to grad school to study psychology. She had made the shift from classical to jazz, yet the prospect of going pro simply hadn't dawned on her.

"If you had told me then that I'd be gigging every weekend I would have laughed at you completely," the 21-year-old says. "First of all, I didn't have the nerve to do that. I didn't think people wanted to hear me. And then boom! All of a sudden, I'm scheduled every weekend."

So it was off to hit the books at York College in Toronto. Halfway through the year, however, the jazz jones got to be too much and Forster signed up for vocal jazz studies.

"That sort of reignited everything," she says. Initial ignition came after her jazz vocal coach slipped her a copy of "The Best Of Ella and Louis."

"That became my all-time favorite CD," she says. And if you've ever heard this young lady sing ... well, no kidding.

Forster's choice of music is right out of that big ol' American Songbook; songs that lay a foundation for the listener to grab onto as the musician takes them for a ride. On stage, Forster is admittedly shy, frequently blending into the scene despite her youthful pulchritude (That's right, she's a looker). Her quartet lays down a solid, yet unobtrusive shag, cocktail style. There's nowhere for the young lady to hide.

"I didn't think I could do this," she says. "Especially in the beginning. I used to stare in one spot and put my head down with my hands at my side. I didn't touch the microphone. It was not pretty to watch me at first."

Her voice is another matter altogether. It is a bright yet warm soprano, slick and clean with wisps of color and tone on the edges. And her command of the upper register - where it can get a little risky for some - is excellent. Perhaps her classical training didn't hurt.

"I think it's a good foundation for all singing," she says. "Because you learn technique, how to use your body, and how to breathe."

But Forster didn't stick to opera. "Creatively, it was limiting me," she says. "You can't do your own thing with it - you can with the dynamics and the beauty of the sound, but you can't really add something or change the song. Plus, I'd played classical oboe, so I'd had enough of classical."

Forster even found pop music limiting. So for her "American Idol" audition, at age 16 she chose an Etta James jazz gem.

"I sang ‘At Last,'" she says. "Like probably 6000 other people."

But alas, it didn't last.

"I got immediately shut down," Forster says. "They say ‘Sorry' and they cut off your wristband and you go home." And with no tips, no advice, no words of wisdom from the gauntlet of know-it-alls in charge.

"Nothing, not a word," she says. When you see it on TV, you think you're going to go straight to Paula, Simon, and Randy, and they're going hear your voice and be enthralled with you. There were tears, but it didn't take away form the fact that I love singing and I love music."

Forster thinks her folks expected the "Idol" shutdown, hoping it might be a bit of a reality check. You know, that whole "real job" thing.

But what do you know? It's five years later and Forster's dad, Tim, now plays flute in her band. Dad helps out booking and hiring the band, but doesn't push it. Ultimately it's Forster's band, even with the occasional conflict.

"Oh, I always win the argument," she says. "He knows better. He helps out a lot but the understanding is he knows he's not going to be a stage dad."

Forster and her band play regular residencies and one-night stands at joints around town like Pane Vino, Bistro 135, and The Little Theatre Café. Watching her from week to week, you can hear the chops getting sharper as she emerges from the spot behind the mic stand to warble, scat, and coo. Forster keeps forging.

"I keep hitting plateaus where I get a little more comfortable and I have to keep pushing myself," she says. "I've only been doing this seven months and I forget how fast things are moving. Seven months ago I thought I'd be going back to grad school. So this had derailed me a little bit. I'd like to see it go as far as it can. I'm also trying to be realistic about it. I haven't had anyone tell me I have to stop."

Honey, that phone call's never gonna come.

- Rochester City Newspaper


(excerpt) Finally, in perhaps the most unexpected turn, was the father and daughter team of Tim Forster and Madeline Forster in Speak Low When You Speak. Tim played jazz flute and his college age daughter was a jazz singer. In the current vernacular, I was blown away! The flute playing was secure and the ornamentation was tasteful and not overdone. As for Madeline, she is a natural. Her singing was so rich and tasty that you could only conclude she is musically aware way beyond her years. It was a treat.

Howard Weiss
Former Concertmaster, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Founder / Former Music Director, Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
- Howard Weiss


Discography

Madeline's debut album "Just You, Just Me" was released April 8th, 2009 in Toronto and April 10th, 2009 in Rochester. Songs including "Just You, Just Me", "Or Love Is Here To Stay", "No More Blues", "They Can't Take That Away From Me", and It's All Right With Me" have already received radio play in Rochester and Toronto. Two songs has also been licensed and are being distributed by HiNote Records in Taiwan and China.

Photos

Bio

Madeline's 6-song CD recorded in mid 2007 quickly caught the attention of a broad audience, and she has rapidly become one of the most sought after performers in the Rochester, NY area. Her warm, effortless and approachable sound is drawing listeners young and old to the “Songbook” era of great, classic jazz. Mark Bialczak, music critic for the Syracuse Post Standard states " Madeline Forster should be considered as a key member in the fresh new vanguard of classic jazz vocalists".

Madeline has studied voice in Rochester at the Eastman School of Music, and in Toronto at York University. She has been heard in Toronto at various clubs including Ten Feet Tall, Dominion on Queen, The Arts and Letters Club, and Amis du Jazz in Sonya, Ontario as well as several performances at The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar, one of Canada's premier jazz clubs. In June, 2009 she was a featured performer at the Willowbank Jazz Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and also sat in with the great vibraphonist Peter Appleyard. In Rochester she has been a featured performer at various events and festivals including the Lilac Festival, Fairport Canal Days, Canandaigua Music & Arts Festival, and at the Rochester International Jazz Festival with the Greater Rochester Jazz Orchestra. She appears regularly at Rochester’s finest clubs including Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, Bistro 135, The Little Theatre Cafe, Brio, Pane Vino, and the Triphammer Grill. Madeline has been a featured performer on 13WHAM TV’s morning show (ABC), FM 98.9 Breakfast Buzz, WHAM1180 radio, and has had several of her songs featured on Jazz 90.1 WGMC in Rochester and Jazz FM91 in Toronto. Beside performing with her quartet, she can also be heard with the Greater Rochester Jazz Orchestra, one of Rochester's distinguished big bands.