Three years ago this month, Amy, Hilary, and Melissa began singing together in three-part harmony. We had not yet dubbed ourselves "DUCHESS" (in fact, we hadn't really even considered the possibility that this fun, one-off gig performing Boswell and Andrews Sisters transcriptions might lead to something more), but we were ready to laugh, sing, and have a blast. To our surprise and delight, the packed room at Greenwich Village's 55 bar greeted us with warmth and enthusiasm, and lo!...a trio was born.
The past three years have been quite an amazing journey, both literally and figuratively. Our self-titled debut album was released less than a year after our first gig, and generated enough buzz to take us throughout the United States and, indeed, halfway across the globe.
Our first-ever tour was with the swinging, hilarious cowboys and cowgirl (hi, Pinto Pammy!) of CowBop, along Route 66 in Oklahoma. Subsequent trips took us to New Orleans, Montana, California, Seattle, Boston, and upstate New York. Some of those gigs were in funky jazz clubs, while others were headlining slots at major jazz festivals.
We've performed abroad, too, taking the stage in far-flung locales like the wilds of Canada and sunny Jerusalem, Israel. And, of course, our home base of New York City has more than held its own in terms of great gigs: Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Rubin Museum, Jazz Standard, and our original stomping grounds, the 55 bar, have all supported our signature #girlongirlharmony over the past few years.
We've made some amazing new friends along the way, too. Meeting our friends and fans (a.k.a. our Duchess Honeybuns) in person is always a thrill. And what a joy it's been, making music with the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Janis Siegel, Vince Giordano, Wycliffe Gordon, Bruce Forman, Jane Monheit, Kat Edmonson, and more.
If you know anything about us (or if you just follow us on Instagram), you know that food is a big deal to us. Like, a really big deal. The meals we've eaten have ranged from the super-fancy to...well, to Bugles eaten by the fistful in lackluster hotel rooms, and we've loved every bite. However high- or low-brow, and whatever the setting, we've learned that food is made more delicious by the presence of loved ones and lots of laughter.
Looking ahead, our second album, Laughing at Life, is slated for a February 2017 release, and we're already booking tour dates in the U.S. and Canada. And, we've got a top-secret new project in the works that we will be sharing with you all very soon. And, in the more immediate future, we are gearing up for a Thanksgiving weekend performance in the Hamptons, followed closely by two shows at the Jazz Standard, where we'll be joined by a couple of very special guests: Christian McBride and Kat Edmonson!
While we've only been singing together for a few years, it feels like we've known one another forever, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Of course, none of the fun and success of the past three years would be possible without the guidance and expertise of our producer and label-head, Oded Lev-Ari. And our band is made up of some of the swingingest, most good-hearted guys in shoe leather. We feel incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible group of friends and musicians in our corner.
Forgive us. Perhaps we're just feeling a little sentimental because November is not only our band-iversary, it's the start of the holiday season, when we all get misty-eyed and prone to reminiscing. But we're just so grateful to one another, and to all of you, for embarking on this wild and wonderful harmonic odyssey that is DUCHESS. We can't wait to see you and thank you in person sometime soon.