"...it’s easy to admire her willingness to stretch out in whichever direction her muse takes her." -Bird is the Worm
"This isn’t a record about nailing down perfection; it’s a record about conversing, about feeling, about loving the art form." -Jordan Richardson, Blinded by Sound
"An incredibly earthy and organic mix of the natural vocals of Segal-Garcia combined with the virtuoso like performance of Korean jazz pianist Yoonseung Cho..." -Critical Jazz
"The pairing of these 2 brilliant artists is akin to watching a butterfly dance with the wind." -Onel Mulet, Hot Indie News
"Absolutely fun music for that time in your life when you finally realize that nobody cares what you do." -Midwest Record Review
"Singer Cathy Segal-Garcia and pianist Yoonseung Cho weave a wonderful tapestry of sound on Bohemian." -TheJazzPage.com
February 19, 2007
By Don Heckman, Critic
OCTET SPANS THE SPECTRUM (click here to read more)
Saturday night at the VC was one experience I'm compelled to share with you, and maybe a better understanding and appreciation of Jazz Music will result.
JAZZ LADY OF L.A. (click here to read more)
Cathy Segal-Garcia & Ross Tompkins
Heart to Heart
Cathy Segal-Garcia's Wednesday Night Jazz Jam (click here to read more)
Cathy Segal-Garcia Provides Music to Make Chefs Sing
The first time I saw jazz singer Cathy Segal-Garcia perform (at the time, she was pre-Garcia), she was at a small Hollywood neighborhood bistro, Two Dollar Bill’s. The Boston-born vocalist had held the room enthralled, and I was hooked.
Saturday night, the singer will provide the entertainment at the 41st Annual Star Chef’s Event, benefiting Pasadena-based Rosemary Children’s Services, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. It will feature cuisine from 22 area restaurants, as well as an auction. Denis Depoitre, executive chef at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel, will be honored with the Golden Star Award.
“That was a cool time back then, wasn’t it?,” the vocalist said over the phone from her Granada Hills home. “There were lots of little places – Two Dollar Bill’s, the Comeback Inn, the Sound Room and others –all offering original jazz. Since then, sometimes there have been virtually no rooms, but right now, I think there is a return to that kind of scene, more places popping up.
“That’s one of the things I push my students to do, to start up rooms (to play at) – go into a restaurant and talk to the manager, and see what happens, spread it around. You can’t just start off by going into a Jazz Bakery or Catalina’s and play.”
Segal-Garcia has been an in-demand vocal teacher as well as a performer and recording artist since those early days, something the Berklee-trained musician blames on her mother.
“She would go from project to project, let’s do this, let’s do that, often at the same time,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve got several hundred students who at one time or another come by for a session, but I’ve never been one to force people to come for a steady string, unless that’s what they want. It all varies, but it keeps me busy.”
She also follows her own advice. Three years ago, she approached the venerable Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City about the possibility of doing some live music there, and since then, she has hosted a weekly jazz jam session on Wednesday nights.
You never know who will drop by. A few weeks ago Rick James got up and sang “My Funny Valentine” She is now talking with the Universal Hilton about doing something and she will be doing a couple of gigs in July at Holly Street Bar and Grill in Pasadena.
This past Memorial Day, Segal-Garcia performed at Playboy Jazz at Brookside Park in Pasadena, and she was pleased with the way it turned out.
“Even though there weren’t as many people there as there were later in the day, it was still great, and it was fun walking around and seeing everything. I’ve been to Japan and Europe a lot over the years, and have done many festivals there, and even did one in Argentina, but this was the first time I’ve done one here at home,” she said.
Recently, the singer had the opportunity to tour the facilities of Rosemary Children’s Services, and she came away impressed with what she found there.
“It was started back in 1920 by these rich Pasadena women who wanted to do something for their community, and now there is this safe haven for at-risk teenage girls,” she said. “What is cool is that they use this system of justice within the facility where the girls watch out for each other, and they have to take responsibility for their own actions. They get some government funding, but most of it comes from donations, and that’s why this event is so important.”
Over the years, Segal-Garcia has released five CDs, each one different from the other.
“Looking back at my own work, I’ve noticed that whereas some people follow an orderly path, my directions have been a bit varied,” she explained. “The first album in 1985 was kind of new agey, then I did this modern jazz trio recording with pianist Phillip Strange, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Peter Erskine. The next two were duet sessions recorded during the same week, with two different pianists, Phillip and Ross Tompkins, and each was totally different. Now I’ve got this new one, ‘Secret Life,’ which is original pop-like material, kind of alternative jazz.”
She said she doesn’t need a huge hit, but would like the albums to be respected by her peers.
“I’m happy, even though it seems lately that I’ve been pouring the coals on the fire. And I always get to play with a rich variety of people, so it is always different. You learn who is good at doing what, and you just go in that direction.”
Paul Andersen is a free-lance writer in California. June 11, 2004 San Gabriel Valley Newspapers.
Led by the well-established singer, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Michael D’s Santa Rosa Café & Jazz Club recently presented a bevy of girl vocalists in its weekend jazz spotlight. In on a Friday night was Segal-Garcia, accompanied by some of L.A.’s best players in the person of guitarist John Chiodini, bassist John Gianelli and drummer Enzo Tedesco.…
It has been years since Cathy Segal-Garcia surfaced in Los Angeles from Boston, a time when she networked, paid her dues, worked all the clubs, composed, recorded, taught voice and performed abroad. All that experience is reflected in her stage presence, her camaraderie with the musicians and the repertoire from her book for a show such as her evening at Michael D’s. Again, good musicians create the musical ambiance for an artist and the ensemble and solo work of guitarist John Chiodini, bassist John Gianelli and drummer Enzo Tedesco provided just the right backing for Segal-Garcia.
She showed her composing skills off nicely with a song she wrote in tribute to guitarist Jim Hall after an appearance he made a t McCabe’s in L.A., and it is titled simply, "Mr. Hall." Then there was "Bahia," her collaborative effort with Gus Garcia, and an upbeat, tricky ditty, which she wrote and dedicated to her niece and called, "Diane." Of course, there also were the usual standards, some of which were "Sunday," an upbeat "Invitation" and "Embraceable You," plus memorable versions of Clare Fischer’s "Pensitiva" and Benny Golson’s "I Remember Clifford." These alone would have made the evening worthwhile, and overall, it was an entertaining one, indeed.