“Slick,” says The Dallas Morning News.
“Jazz singer Judy Chamberlain solidly affirms the music’s far-reaching, continuing vitality.” Don Heckman, L.A. Times
Dallas jazz singer Judy Chamberlain, a renowned interpreter of vintage standards, is known for her phrasing, spontaneity and extensive repertoire.
Named “one of the top jazz singers of all time” by author Scott Yanow, Chamberlain takes her audiences on a trip through a hundred years of music. Her performances might well be a master class in the American Songbook, and in the art of entertainment.
“Judy Chamberlain is a walking encyclopedia of The Great American Songbook.” Chuck Niles, Pacific Public Radio, Los Angeles
“Jazz singer/bandleader Judy Chamberlain has mastered the art of mesmerizing both the audience and her own band.” All-Music Guide
A New York City native and longtime Californian now living in Texas, Chamberlain has performed in many high-profile jazz concert settings, and at the events of numerous composers who actually wrote the songs she sings.
In 1999, legendary entertainer and songwriter Paul Anka presented her with her own lyrics to his iconic Frank Sinatra hit, “My Way.”
And indeed, Judy has been doing it her way since she began her professional career singing with East Coast big bands at the age of 13. The child of an entertainment family, she grew up in a world of dinners at The Stork Club — where she regularly interviewed the chefs in the kitchen and drank endless while her showbiz aunts and being in attendance at Tony’s or The Byline Club when Cole Porter dropped in to listen to his muse, Mabel Mercer.
She adores sharing that world with her audiences, transporting listeners to a time they know and love, even if they were never there.
“I LOVE YOU JUDY CHAMBERLAIN!” Jonne-Marie Switzler, Manager/Playboy Jazz Festivals
“I don’t know how she recalls this stuff, because she’s too young.” Al Rudis, Long Beach Press Telegram
Judy’s repertoire, and the storyteller’s gift for making a lyric her own — as if you’ve never heard the song before — draw from her years of experience. The songs she sings are the best ever written. Favorite composers include George & Ira Gerswin, Irving Berlin, Cy Coleman, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, Harold Rome, Rogers & Hart, Rogers & Hammerstein, Johnny Mercer, Dietz & Schwartz, Jimmy Webb, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Johnny Mandel, Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, The Mamas and the Papas — Papa John Phillips was a close friend — and so many more.
A performer, singer, producer and broadcast personality for most of her life, she is a seasoned entertainer who brings out the best in the musicians with whom she collaborates. She plays to their strengths. It doesn’t hurt that, as former L.A. Times jazz critic Don Heckman has said, “she knows more songs than anyone else who has ever lived.”
“You’re just like ‘the Old Man,’ cookie,” Al Viola, guitarist
In Los Angeles, Judy collaborated often with guitarist Al Viola, who toured and recorded for nearly thirty years with Frank Sinatra. Viola was a prolific veteran of the Hollywood studios, and recorded more than 500 albums and soundtracks. Those are his mandolin motifs running through the movie “The Godfather.”
Viola, who passed away in 2007, was fond of pointing out similarities between Chamberlain and Sinatra, whom he affectionately called “the old man.”
“Judy takes care of business and sings the hell out of a tune the way Sinatra did,” said Viola. “She can come out of nowhere and take the pickup on the song — no warning — and the band is instantly with her because she gives great signals. Like Sinatra, she’s always in the moment and never does anything the same way twice. Her timing and phrasing are impeccable. I love working with her, because I’m never bored.”
“Look at all these people, having the time of their lives,” Viola said to Judy one night from their perch on the bandstand.
“And you were here, cookie.”
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