Judy Wexler [judywex]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I'm a jazz vocalist, and I like to find great songs to "derange" for jazz.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I always work with great musicians like Jeff Colella, Alan Pasqua, Steve Hass.
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
Thanks for asking! Please check out my music at http://www.judywexler.com and join my band page at http://www.facebook.com/judywexler.music.
Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
Ooh, I don't like to compete... so no competitions! I've recorded three critically acclaimed CDs - Easy on the Heart (2005); Dreams & Shadows (2008), which debuted on the jazz chart at #2 (right under Pat Metheny!) and scored an NPR Weekend interview; and my latest, Under a Painted Sky (2011), which hit #8 on the US national jazz airplay chart.
I've also had wonderful opportunities singing at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, Dubai Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, plus I opened for legendary Mose Allison at the Temecula Int'l Jazz Fest. I've also headlined at Birdland and Blue Note in New York plus many other great clubs.
Please list discography in which you have participated.
Sorry, I answered that in the previous question, but here goes again:
Under a Painted Sky (2011)
Dreams & Shadows (2008)
Easy on the Heart (2005)
They can all be sampled on my website at www.judywexler.com
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
My parents started me on piano lessons at age 5 and I haven't stopped making music since! My boyfriend in S.F. got me heavily into jazz a long time ago, so I married him.
What was your musical education?
I studied piano and voice from childhood through college, and will continue my musical explorations forever.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
In 2005, when I released my debut CD, Easy on the Heart. The reaction to it inspired me to continue professionally.
What is your creative process?
I sing all the time and try to find new songs to incorporate into my repertoire. I bring them to great arrangers who help me tailor the song to my style. I listen to vocalists and instrumentalists who inspire.
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Night is better for me.
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
Maybe once... unfortunately, I didn't write it down and it vanished. I'm not a composer.
What part of your job is your least favourite?
Promoting gigs -- definitely my least favorite.
How often do you practice?
I practice hours a day every day.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
It depends on many factors, but I am always excited to be able to make music with great musicians.
List three songs that are key to your life.
"Follow," recorded by the great Richie Havens
"Dreams & Shadows," (instrumentally known as Delilah), because my husband wrote the lyrics (featured on my 2nd CD) and the track was the #2 track on L.A.'s jazz station, KJAZZ, in 2008.
"Life's a Lesson" by Frank Rosolino and Ben Sidran
What should be done to stop piracy?
I wish I knew the answer to that. It's very upsetting!
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
I have a label, but these days, as a jazz artist, it might be more worthwhile to do it all myself.
What other things have you done to make a living?
I've managed the office of the Sundance Institute and worked as a personal assistant to the late ventriloquist Shari Lewis, among many other things.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Practice a lot, have a positive attitude, don't try to compete with anyone, find your own sound and style, find a way early on to teach.