“Slick,” says The Dallas Morning News.
“A fascinating journey through a century of song.” International Review of Music
Dallas jazz singer Judy Chamberlain, a renowned interpreter of the Great American Songbook, sings the best songs ever written. She is known for her spontaneity and enormous repertoire of vintage standards.
“Jazz singer Judy Chamberlain solidly affirms the music’s far-reaching, continuing vitality.” Don Heckman, L.A. Times
“Jazz singer/bandleader Judy Chamberlain has mastered the art of mesmerizing both the audience and her own band.” All-Music Guide
“She makes you laugh, cry and want to dance and drink martinis all night.” Ann Chatillon, Coast Magazine
Named “one of the top jazz singers of all time” by author Scott Yanow, Chamberlain has been called a “saloon singer” — a nod to her Sinatra-like phrasing — a “torch singer” and a “cabaret singer.” She moves easily between 1950’s pop, rock ‘n roll and doo-wop oldies, Broadway tunes, movie music, obscurities and the most sophisticated elements of the American Songbook, usually in the same set.
A New York City native and fourth-generation musician who grew up shuttling between Manhattan and coastal Connecticut, Chamberlain was based in Southern California for thirty years before moving to Texas in 2011. In addition to producing and performing in many prestigious jazz concert settings, she has entertained at hundreds of high-profile celebrity events and for the composers who actually wrote the songs she sings.
In 1999, Paul Anka gifted her with her own lyrics to his iconic Sinatra hit, “My Way.” But Judy has been doing it “her way” since she was 13 years old, already a seasoned veteran of dinners at The Stork Club and Cole Porter dropping in to hear Mabel Mercer sing at Tony’s or the Byline Room.
She adores sharing that world with her audiences.
“I LOVE YOU JUDY CHAMBERLAIN!” Jonne-Marie Switzler, Manager/Playboy Jazz Festivals
“Judy Chamberlain is a walking encyclopedia of The Great American Songbook.” Chuck Niles, Pacific Public Radio, Los Angeles
“I don’t know how she recalls this stuff, because she’s too young.” Al Rudis, Long Beach Press Telegram
A performer, singer, producer and broadcast personality for most of her life, Judy brings out the best her musicians, playing to their various strengths. It helps that, as former L.A. Times jazz critic Don Heckman has said, “she knows more songs than anyone else who has ever lived.”
Judy knows well of what she sings, and uses the storyteller’s to share anecdotes while letting the music speak for itself. Although she’s been singing Twentieth Century American popular music for years — the most wonderful songs ever written — listeners sometimes feel as if they’re hearing the lyrics for the first time.
Favorite composers include George & Ira Gerswin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Harold Rome, Vernon Duke, Duke Ellington, Dietz & Schwartz, Harry Warren, Richard Rogers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein, Noel Coward, Cy Coleman, Jimmy Webb, Johnny Mandel, Michel Legrand, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, Paul Anka, Papa John Phillips and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“You’re just like ‘the Old Man,’ cookie,” Al Viola, longtime guitarist for Frank Sinatra
Chamberlain collaborated for a decade in Los Angekes with guitarist Al Viola, a 25-year veteran of Frank Sinatra’s band; that’s his mandolin work in “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.”