With a brand-new album and show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, local jazz vocalist Judy Whitmore (judywhitmore.com) is hitting all the right notes.
Congratulations on the release of your new album, Isn’t It Romantic. Tell us about the project and what excites you most about it. One of the highlights of this project was the chance to work with pianist Tamir Hendelman; his piano solos are amazing. Peisha McPhee, my vocal coach and mentor, and I worked for several months to curate the selection of songs. The piano solo on ‘It Could Happen to You’ is one of the best I have ever heard, and I’m so thrilled to include one of my all-time favorite tunes, ‘Just a Little Lovin’.’
We’ll see you perform Oct. 15 on the Samueli Theater stage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts with your brother Billy Grubman. What can fans expect? Our new show celebrates the era of supper clubs and big bands with a fantastic 15-piece orchestra. The repertoire centers on The Great American Songbook with music from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Broadway standards.
What do you enjoy most about creating music? Creating music is such a gratifying experience. When you’re fashioning an arrangement, it feels a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, or molding a piece of art. The song may have been recorded by 20 or 30 people, but now you have an opportunity to do it a different way. Performing live is exhilarating. Nothing heightens the excitement more than a real audience. I love it!
My secret dream is to... have the time to learn ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ on the piano.