Award winning Toronto-born jazz star Carol Welsman is a Valley Girl

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JoPerry75BY JO PERRY

When she’s not touring the U.S., Europe, Canada, or Japan, Toronto-born jazz star Carol Welsman is a Valley Girl. She lives and makes music in the hills above Studio City with her husband, well-known defense attorney Pat Harris, and their yellow Lab, Lucy.

Recipient of the “Album of the Year” award at the 2008 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, and nominee for “Best Female Vocalist,” Welsman’s seven cd’s have received four Juno Award (Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Grammy) nominations. She’s written song lyrics for Celine Dion, Ray Charles, and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and worked with Herbie Hancock, and the late Pierre Cossette, creator of the Grammy Awards.

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Welsman performed her first song at age one, and hasn’t stopped making music. The granddaughter of the founder and first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Carol studied violin, double bass and piano and went on to attend the elite Berklee College of Music in Boston where she majored in piano performance. Later she studied voice with Christiane Legrand, sister of Michel Legrand.

Welsman, always a jazz artist, explores international rhythms, pop classics, standards and original compositions. Her gorgeous voice is by turns sultry, edgy, melancholy, and playful – always sure, sharp and thrillingly beautiful. Because of her range and exquisite phrasing, Welsman performs comfortably in both intimate cabarets and with large symphony orchestras and has sung for Bill Clinton and Stevie Wonder.

Welsman’s newest cd, “I Like Men: Reflections of Miss Peggy Lee” has received rave reviews and was the USA Today’s pick of the week. Renowned jazz critic Don Heckman described Welsman as “…that rarity – an authentic vocal/instrumental artist who brings an irresistible blend of musicality and lyrical insight to everything she touches.”

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Before recording her tribute to Lee, Welsman met with Peggy Lee’s granddaughter who helped Welsman deepen her understanding of Lee’s life and music. Welsman’s deep connection with Lee infuses each song with emotion and clarity. There’s also great joy in Welsman’s voice and piano: I felt it when when I heard Welsman perform selections from “I Like Men” at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.

You can hear songs from “I Like Men” by visiting Carol Welsman’s website: http://www.carolwelsman.com/albums/i-like-men/ or the iTunes store. Once you’ll listen to these surprising, fresh and brilliant songs, (Don’t miss “I Like Men,” “I’m Goin’ Fishin,” and “Angels on Your Pillow”) you’ll want to hear more of Welsman’s music—and you’ll never hear Peggy Lee the same way again.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for BookBrowse.com and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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