We're good at parties...
The gals of DUCHESS love a good party, whether we're holding court at one of our own shows or making a guest appearance with our musician friends. Lately, we've had lots of fun making cameos here in New York City with some terrific artists...what a way to close out 2014!
In recent weeks, we've had the honor of sitting in a couple of times with the legendary Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, erstwhile of HBO's hit series, "Boardwalk Empire." We had an absolute ball hearing what Vince and the band brought to our charts. Their sound is unmistakably authentic and swinging, and it was especially exciting to perform the "Heebie Jeebies" for Kyla Titus, who is the granddaughter of none other than Vet Boswell! Kyla graciously gifted us with a signed copy of her new book, "The Boswell Legacy." Another highlight was Wycliffe Gordon stopping by to tear the roof off the joint with his rendition of "Lazy River." What a thrill!
November 16 found us at Birdland, for the lovely and swinging Jane Monheit's Jazz Party. Jane is an enormously engaging performer, and she was incredibly gracious to us. Each DUCHESS got to sing a solo tune and a duet with Jane. As a group, we performed "Blah, Blah, Blah," and then Jane joined us for "Que Sera, Sera." It was a magical evening.
And speaking of magical evenings, our very own Melissa Stylianou celebrated the release of her newest CD, "No Regrets," at the Jazz Standard just a few days ago and, yowza, was it a great show! Hilary and Amy joined Melissa for "Hummin to Myself" and "Que Sera, Sera." We were too busy having fun to remember to get photos of us all onstage, but Amy was able to snap a great shot of Melissa bringing down the house (right).
Will Friedwald has been a friend and supporter of girl-on-girl harmony since the early days of DUCHESS, and we jumped at his invitation to join an all-star cast of singers at Urban Stages last night in tribute to composer and lyricist Hugh Martin. We performed a medley of songs from "Best Foot Forward," including "Skip to My Lou" and "The Three B's," both of which were arranged especially for us by our friend David Maddux. Thank you, David!
The legendary Marilyn Maye was the star of the show, and we had the singular thrill of being the only people present for her sound check. Watching Ms. Maye work out her arrangements with the brilliant pianist Ted Firth was an unexpected gift and a true masterclass. The gals of DUCHESS have decided that we would very much like to be Marilyn Maye when we grow up. We were honored to meet her, hear her, and even join her (along with the entire cast) for a group sing-along of Hugh Martin's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
We've got one more guest appearance on the calendar for 2014, and it's a doozy! Our dear friend and drummer Matt Wilson has invited DUCHESS to sing with his Christmas Tree-O at the Jazz Standard on December 16 and 17 (please visit our EVENTS page for tickets and more info). There will be hijinks. There will be hilarity. There will be special guests. There will most certainly be holiday cheer. Pick out your fanciest hat and let us sing you into the holiday season! Hope to see you there.