Thursday, December 15, 2011
After many years in the music business and doing what we all do in New York; work on our music - this has been a beautiful surprise for me. I'm in a group of nominees who've all been nominated before and one who already has a Grammy. I'm going to close my eyes and enjoy the ride in February when all of my family fly out to Hollywood and join in the big celebration.
I'm very grateful and I Thank everyone who has supported my music through the years and the great musicians who have played music with me.
Paul and Sarah and I will be in Dallas and Marco Island for the Holidays. See you for New Years at The DeerHead Inn..
Monday, November 28, 2011
I feel very lucky to have a loving family, a roof over my head, a job, many friends and inspiration. On December 19th, Sarah and I will head to Texas to see sisters, Debbie, Karen, niece Lily, Gary & Craig and best of all- my mother Ruby who is up walking this year. Then Sarah and I meet Paul in Ft.Meyers, Florida and head to Mary's house, Paul's mom. Love to all my friends this Holiday Season...x Ro
Sunday, October 23, 2011
On this sunday morning I am thinking of how much I love the fall season in New York. The leaves are changing to deep hues of red, bright gold and orange. The air is cool and crisp and once again it's time for carving pumpkins, for turkeys to hide and the 2011 Grammys. I've released 12 cds in my professional lifetime with the world's greatest musicians singing the hippest songs and arrangements supported by top jazz labels all recorded by Paul Wickliffe (one of the world's greatest recording engineers), website and advertisement designs by my daughter Sarah Wickliffe and advice and management by Jeffrey Levenson. How could I have been any luckier? My latest cd. "The Music of Randy Newman" , (which is up for nomination this year on Motéma Records) was a beautiful musical journey, great lyrics with stories I could believe it. Mark Soskin, great pianist and arranger for this project was Not submitted for of his arrangements on this project. I left the decisions of nominations up to our label which released many great projects this year. If I were lucky enough to be nominated in the Vocal Jazz category, I'll BUY Mark Soskin a ticket to fly out to Hollywood with me. Ms. Sara Caswell, virtuoso violinist on my project, is nominated for her solo on Mark's poignant arrangement of "In Germany Before the War". Sara truly deserves a nomination for her solo, work ethic and vast talent. Dean Johnson and Tim Horner (bassist & drummer) with me for so many concerts, recordings and travel around the world are the finest rhythm section pairing any musician can imagine. I love and respect these two friends with highest esteem and appreciation for their contributions to my music.
Today I was perusing Youtube, listening to new artists and I found a new posting with my latest cd cover, but the track was for " I Don't Need No Doctor" from my "Catchin' Some Ray's" recording on Telarc in 1997. I thought it was a very interesting that someone would post a tune with the wrong cover? Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1lkZ5AgOXE
Ps. Thank you to this blog for posting a new review of "Catchin' Some Rays" all of these years later. http://rfccbh.blogspot.com/2011/06/roseanna-vitro-catchin-some-rays-music.html
Now back to thinking about JVOICE (Vocal Jazz Site on Facebook) and what new project I'd like to grab a hold of. Practice- Practice - Practice -
Sunday, September 25, 2011
photo's : Michael Oletta
Zach BrockAkira Tana - Roseanna Vitro
San Diego Reader
By Robert Bush | Posted September 22, 2011, 5:23 p.m.
KSDS Jazz 88 launched their fall concert series, Jazz Live, with a performance by Roseanna Vitro, who is touring in support of her latest recording on the Motema Music Label, The Music of Randy Newman.
Vitro was born in Arkansas and spent much of her early career in Houston. "Randy comes out of New Orleans, so I can relate to that sense of barbeque in his music," said the singer.
The arrangements on the Newman record were written by Vitro's regular pianist, Mark Soskin, who didn't just reharmonize everything and turn the idiosyncratic composer's cadences into swing — rather, he chose to adapt the material as close to its original spirit as possible.
Vitro, who now resides in New Jersey, brought pianist Jason Teborek and violinist Zach Brock to the West Coast, and, in San Francisco, enlisted veteran drummer Akira Tana for the San Diego gig. Ubiquitous local bassist Rob Thorsen completed the ensemble.
Vitro's strong, no-nonsense, pitch-perfect alto is a natural fit for the music of Randy Newman. She was able to interpret songs like "Sail Away" into a dynamic that didn't lose sight of Newman's sardonic wit and world-weary sense of irony.
The singer's massive jazz credentials never hijacked the spirit of Newman's music, and when she ventured outside that composer's catalog — her inerrant sense of swing and adventurous musicality served a welcome respite from the empty vocal gymnastics of the "American Idol" world we live in.
Special kudos go to Teborek, who handled the straight-eighth rhythmic flow of the Newman material with considerable grace. His solo's were essays in golden toned, fully formed ideas, reminiscent of Lyle Mays's early work with Pat Metheny.
Tana rocked the house with his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink drum solo on "Mama Told Me Not to Come", rearranged with a sultry, stealth dynamic. Thorsen's growling whole notes and joyous walking bass meshed well with the drummer's aesthetic, even though it was their first time playing together.
The principal melodic counterpoint was handled by the excellent, soulful violin of Brock, who nearly stole the show with his intricate lines and sumptuous glissandi, especially on "Sail Away" and "In Germany Before the War," where his attack took on the nature of a soprano saxophone.
Newman's winsome ballad in waltz time, "Losing You," featured a tricky ensemble arrangement that consumed most of the early rehearsal time I witnessed, but Vitro's unadorned, naked honesty made it a highlight moment worthy of all the effort.
Whether she was re-imagining the music of Randy Newman or swinging like nobody's business, Rosanne Vitro's Saville Theatre performance was a master class in pure musical expression.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I had a beautiful little tour with my new RNP Band...The Motéma Music release: The Music of Randy Newman -we had a great gig June 13th at Dizzy's..Thank you to all my dear friends who turned out. I appreciate your support so much. I don't always do the predictable and so I appreciate those who appreciate that!...The Randy Newman Project is a blast musically. Those who don't know Randy's music are missing out. Yes, some lyrics are silly and fun and others are profound- you just have to listen.
I'm in the caribbean right now. I'll post NY. Denver and LA. photos soon.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
- June 16th – The Mount Vernon Country Club Jazz Series (http://www.mountvernoncc.com/) Golden, CO. , 8 pm. One Show!- The Music of Randy Newman
- June 18th – Los Angeles -“The Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast” -The Musicians Institute -1655 N. Mc Cadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90028: Info http://www.Jazzbakery.org $25. adults – $15. students with ID. 8 pm. 1 show! CD Release Party – LA! Roseanna, Mark, Sara, Tim and Dean – The RNP Band
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Music of Randy Newman
by Ken Dryden
Vocalist Roseanna Vitro has had big ears when it comes to looking for material for her jazz record dates, investigating songwriters overlooked by others. This Randy Newman songbook is obviously a labor of love, interpreting the veteran composer's lyrics, whether sentimental or sardonic. Her band includes the seasoned rhythm team of pianist Mark Soskin (who also provided arrangements), bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, along with the promising young violinist Sara Caswell (who often adds a sublime touch). The rich-voiced alto's rendition of "Sail Away" showcases Caswell to good effect. Vitro has a lot of fun with Newman's hilarious description of attending a pot party in "Mama Told Me Not to Come," with Caswell's whimsical licks complementing the leader's playful, outgoing vocal. The singer captures the essence of Newman's sardonic "Baltimore," though she transforms it with a brisk setting, adding guitarist Steve Cardenas. Vitro's dramatic interpretation of "In Germany Before the War" is also a high point. Jazz fans who grew up listening to Randy Newman will be particularly interested in Roseanna Vitro's novel approach to his music.
|1||Last Night I Had a Dream||Newman||4:55|
|3||If I Didn't Have You||Newman||6:16|
|4||Everytime It Rains||Newman||4:05|
|6||In Germany Before the War||Newman||4:35|
|7||Mama Told Me Not to Come||Newman||4:36|
|8||I Will Go Sailing No More||Newman||6:06|
|9||Feels Like Home||Newman||6:02|
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
This coming Saturday is the world premiere of a jazz/theater piece that my daughter, Sarah Wickliffe spent the last year animating and designing: Fred Hersch's "My Coma Dreams." Its going to be beautiful, trippy, and unlike anything you've ever seen. Paul and I are very proud of Sarah and for those of you who don't know her work, check out: http://www.wickpix.com Sarah is a painter, Oscar winning film maker, graphic artist, animator, cd designer and a fine writer too. This production will become a documentary and is scheduled to hit the road, so be on the look out for this amazing work.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Today’s jazz singers don’t limit themselves to the classic American Songbook. The singer/songwriter era ushered in by rock ’n’ roll produced a treasure trove of tunes ripe for reinvention, and Roseanna Vitro uncovers a mother lode with The Music of Randy Newman.
Working closely with veteran pianist and longtime collaborator Mark Soskin, Vitro infuses Newman’s songs with her soul-deep feel for blues and gospel. The results are revelatory, insistently raising the question of why no jazz singer has previously tackled a Randy Newman project. Vitro credits the concept to her husband, sound engineer and producer Paul Wickliffe, an idea planted by her yearning version of Newman’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” on her 2006 album Live at the Kennedy Center (Challenge).
“That’s one of the ballads I only present when people are really listening,” Vitro says. “What I love about Randy Newman is his ability to tell a story, and the fact that his music is Southern-flavored with a real taste of New Orleans. I’m from the South, and whether I’m singing swing, Ray Charles, or Bill Evans, I have an undercurrent of blues, country, and gospel that informs whatever I’m doing.”
The project is very much a collaboration with a brilliant cast of musicians, including Mark Soskin, whose long history with Sonny Rollins and his band goes back to the 1970s and who currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music; rising violin star Sara Caswell, heard recently with Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society and Mark O’Connor’s American String Celebration; percussion ace Jamey Haddad, currently with Paul Simon’s band; guitarist Steve Cardenas, now touring with Ben Allison and Jenny Scheinman; and Vitro’s working rhythm section of bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, both featured on Live at the Kennedy Center with Roseanna. While The Music of Randy Newman might not register immediately as a jazz session, it’s an album that could have only been conceived and realized by artists powerfully connected to the jazz tradition.
Immersing herself in Newman’s vast catalog, Vitro used the same rigorous process in selecting material as on 1997’s Catchin’ Some Rays (Telarc) and 2001’s Conviction: Thoughts of Bill Evans (A Records), her acclaimed albums exploring the music of Charles and Evans, respectively. Whether interpreting Newman’s early hits or latter-day gems, Vitro and Soskin developed arrangements that flow from the contours of his incisive lyrics and the implied orchestrations of his piano playing. From the opening track, which infuses the almost psychedelic “Last Night I Had a Dream” with a propulsive Latin groove, to the closer, a wrenching “Losing You,” Vitro imbues each song with her highly personal narrative arc.
An artist who has never shied away from politics, Vitro is clearly drawn to Newman’s warts-and-all portraits of America. The Americana fiddle theme on “Sail Away,” which explores the tragedy of slavery, subtly comments on the nation’s founding sin, while the imploring strings on “Baltimore” heightens Newman’s tale of urban despair. Which isn’t to say that Vitro is only interested in Newman’s biting wit and caustic commentary. “If I Didn’t Have You,” the Academy Award–winning theme from the 2002 hit Monsters, Inc., ranks among the sweetest of buddy songs, a mood that Soskin captures by recasting it as an insinuating bossa nova. “I Will Go Sailing No More” from Toy Story is another highlight, a rueful ballad about aging gracefully and on one’s own terms.
In a career marked by one sensational creative swoop after another, Vitro is still soaring into new musical realms. In many ways, The Music of Randy Newman flows from her last album, Delirium Blues Project: Serve or Suffer (Half Note), a fascinating sojourn into vintage blues, jazz, funk, and rock ’n’ roll. Working closely with pianist Kenny Werner, a longtime creative partner, and a world-class cast of players, including saxophone master James Carter, trumpet great Randy Brecker, and bass virtuoso John Patitucci, Vitro turns into a power belter on numbers like the Esther Phillips vehicle “Cheater Man,” Mose Allison’s “Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy,” and Tower of Power’s “What Is Hip?”
With its amalgam of musical influences, Delirium Blues Project gave her a chance to live out an early musical ambition. Growing up in Arkansas, Vitro was weaned on music. Her Italian-born father owned a nightclub in Hot Springs and loved opera, and her mother’s family sang gospel. (“You know Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? That’s my family’s music,” Vitro says.) She fell in love with singing as a child, and by the time she reached her teens in the mid-1960s she was determined to become a rock singer. Fleeing Texarkana for Houston, Tex., she started meeting musicians around the Gulf Coast scene through classified ads placed by rock combos seeking a singer.
On one of her early rock gigs, a bassist informed her that she seemed to have the makings of a jazz singer, and she started checking out Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nancy Wilson. Veteran crooner Ray Sullenger, who had performed with Paul Whiteman, took her under his wing, giving her career pointers and organizing a “coming out” party to introduce her to the Houston jazz community. The great Texas tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb attended the event, and became another important mentor.
“He was such a great example of a blues-steeped player who swung so powerfully,” Vitro says. “I would go to the Third Ward and sit in and jam with Arnett all the time. He’d put on summer jazz workshops for kids, and I’d go trying to learn theory. Bob Morgan, who’s done such amazing work mentoring musicians like Jason Moran and Eric Harland at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, was my teacher at those summer jazz workshops.”
By the mid-1970s Vitro had become a mainstay on the Houston scene, leading a group called Roseanna with Strings and Things. A two-year engagement at the famed Green Room led to a weekly radio show (on KUHF-FM) and jams with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez, Tommy Flanagan, and others. Soon she felt New York’s inexorable gravitational pull. She set off with her guitarist Scott Hardy and made the move to Manhattan, where Cobb regularly invited her to sit in when he played the Village Vanguard. He also appeared as a guest on her first disc, 1985’s Listen Here (Texas Rose), an auspicious debut with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, and Ben Riley that’s yet to be reissued on CD.
Always looking to extend her skills and craft, Vitro studied bel canto with Gabore Carelli at the Manhattan School of Music, jazz singing with Ann Marie Moss, and later Hindustani classical music with Dhanashree Pandit Rae, Purvi Parikh, and Uday Bhawalker. She studied piano with Sid Bernstein and theory and concept with Kenny Werner and Fred Hersch, who both became Vitro’s key creative collaborators.
Hersch accompanied her on 1987’s A Quiet Place (Skyline), 1994’s Softly (Concord Jazz), and Conviction, all sessions displaying her expansive repertoire. Werner has played an essential role just about every other Vitro album, including 1991’s Reaching for the Moon (Chase Music Group), and her major label breakthrough with Telarc, 1996’s Passion Dance, which features the pianist’s lush arrangements and superlative improvisers such as Elvin Jones, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride, and Romero Lubambo. He also backs her on Catchin’ Some Rays, 2004’s Brazilian escape Tropical Postcards (A Records), and Live at the Kennedy Center. All of Vitro’s recordings are distinguished by her canny choice of songs. Rather than delivering the standards defined by Ella, Sarah, Carmen, and Billie, she’s honed a body of songs that are truly Roseanna.
That’s not to say she’s the first singer to explore Randy Newman’s music. His gimlet-eyed character studies bring to life a vast menagerie of American characters, and a spectrum of artists from Ray Charles and Etta James to Dusty Springfield and Peggy Lee has recorded his music. (As Vitro reveals in her liner notes, Newman wrote the orchestration for Lee’s 1969 hit “Is That All There Is?”). His knack for storytelling has made him Hollywood’s favorite tunesmith, a two-time Oscar winner whose music has played an essential role in more than a dozen hit films including The Natural, Meet the Parents, and the Toy Story trilogy.
The fact that Newman’s music is so well suited for movies should come as no surprise. Three of his uncles—nine-time Oscar winners Alfred Newman, Lionel Newman, and Emil Newman—were esteemed Hollywood composers, and today his nephew Joey Newman and cousins Thomas Montgomery Newman and David Newman are successful film and television composers. Spending his early years in New Orleans, he absorbed the city’s rhythms and cadences. It’s no coincidence that his song “Louisiana, 1927,” from his landmark 1974 album Good Old Boys, became an anthem for New Orleans in the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. For Vitro, the combination of wit, sentiment, bruised cynicism, and open-hearted vulnerability made Newman’s songbook an irresistible draw.
“I felt so at home singing Newman’s songs,” Vitro says. “I could make three albums of his music. If you look at the American Songbook, most of that work was created for film and theater. He’s actually expanding the definition of the American Songbook. Some of the greatness has gone under the radar, because it’s being sung by a big wooly animal or created for an animated film.”
If Vitro is turning on the jazz world to a body of work it’s been overlooking, her efforts include her vaunted skills as an educator. A respected professor and symposium director since the mid-1990s, Vitro is the director of vocal jazz studies at New Jersey City University, a program that she founded in 1998. As a mentor to some of the most creative young singers on the scene, she developed a four-year curriculum spanning the history of jazz vocalists, from Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith to the greatest contemporary stylists, most of whom she interviewed about their approach and creative concepts. In 2009 she created the social networking site JVOICE (Jazz Vocalists Offering Instructional Curriculum for Education) for jazz singers, teachers, students, and others interested in technique and issues around jazz education.
“I love what I’ve learned in this business,” Vitro says. “I want to be a great teacher, work on my improvisation, and write substantial music. I love to interview other singers. I still love to perform, but I also love to teach. I want to spread jazz everywhere and fulfill the role I was put here for.” •
(Reverbnation page featuring the Randy Newman Project)
Follow Roseanna on Twitter:
Friday, April 8, 2011
To Hear sound clips: http://www.RNP.RoseannaVitro.com
The Randy Newman Project features the brilliant compositions of Randy Newman, re-imagined through the arrangements of pianist Mark Soskin. The music marries elements of jazz, blues, folk and country – a rich stew of influences illuminating Newman’s Americana. This group brings a high level of musicianship, improvisation and creativity to Newman’s inspired narratives - all defined and shaped by the vocal poignancy of Roseanna Vitro, a storyteller of great renown. Stellar violinist Sara Caswell - an emerging talent winning accolades - adds luster and musicality to the group sound. Rounding out the ensemble, guitarist Steve Cardenas, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tim Horner, and percussionist Jamey Haddad.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Sarah Wickliffe and Paul Wickliffe- Love Yall! Ro
I sent invitations to everyone in the New York area that I care about to join me in celebration of a major birthday. This one was a real page turner for me and a wonderful time of reflection, an accounting of how I'd like to make use of my time in the next 10 years. I felt very loved by those who turned out to share some laughter and song on February 28th. Heartfelt- Thank you's to Paul and Sarah for all of your help in making it possible and to Lorraine Werner for making the best darned cake that I've ever eaten.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
dear friends - (if you have to ask if you're my friend, then we know the answer-uninvited -shall be escorted OUT) =
I don't celebrate many birthdays anymore, but I've got a Big One coming February 28th. I would like to celebrate my life and the love and wisdom that my friends have shared with me. I have asked the 'angel' of cake bakers Ms. Lorraine Schalamon to create one of her masterpieces and there will be a fine piano, bass and drums in the facility.
I've known some of you for over 30 years. If you are 'Free' please drop by and tell me 'how you're doing' these days? Life is short for some of our comrades and I am grateful to be alive and have the opportunity to grow and share life and music with my family and friends. (bring a food item or your choice of beverage)
Parking on the street is legal after 7pm.
Love - Roseanna
February 28th - 7:30 pm. to 1 am. - There will be a Birthday Celebration at Zeb's Place - 223 West 28th St. 2nd fl. - 212 695 8081
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
|Zeb's Place -|
Wednesday, January 26 · 8:00pm - 10:00pm (followed by Jazz Singers Jam!)
|Phone - 212 695 8081 - This is a Hip Hang! Good PA. Fine Piano The Vibe is Right...|
|Location||Zeb's Place - http://www.zebulonsoundandlight.com/pics/JVW.htm|
223 W 28th St. 2nd floor- New York, NY 10001
Tim Horner Dean Johnson Jason Teborek
|Thoughts on the JEN Convention and the APAP Convention|
I applaud Lou Fischer and Mary Jo Papich for their hard work in creating the new Jazz Educational Network. (http://www.jazzednet.org/) The loss of the IAJE was a big loss for many jazz entrepreneurs, students and teachers. Not to mention how disillusioned we all were afterwards. This year was the second year of the new organization. Presenting JEN in New Orleans was a perfect choice. All the history and the vibe made this year a memorable experience for all that attended. Walking through the quarter and seeing tap dancers and hearing wailing blues made me feel at home. There were many great teachers and acts performing for the convention. (check out their website to get a full listing) I performed at Snug Harbor on the thursday night with Sachal, Cindy and Maria and we had a blast! I saw many of my favorite singers and instrumentalists. Next year the convention will be held in Louisville
Apap - This convention has become the new booking mecca for presenters. The rooms at the New York Hilton were filled to capacity with great artists of all styles. I have recently signed with http://www.motema.com/ . I am thrilled to be a part of this musical family, led by Jana Herzen. This year I was lucky to perform in the Bridge Bar at the Hilton on sunday afternoon with my new Randy Newman Project band. We kicked butt- what a great band! (Sara Caswell, Mark Soskin, Dean Johnson and Matt Wilson sat in to keep Tim Horner's seat warm while he was on the road. Jana presented many great Motema artists over saturday and sunday. This was a great hang...My new cd. will be released in May- can't wait.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Roseanna Vitro - Sachal Vasandani - Maria Marquez
January 6th Join us for an amazing night of jazz at New Orleans Premier Jazz Club
-Snug Harbor Show ( 626 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA (504) 949-0696)
-2 shows 8 pm. & 10 pm. Featuring!
with the Larry Sieberth Trio
“Highly respected vocalist/educator Roseanna Vitro’s art equates to untainted class. With jazz piano great Kenny Werner and a crack rhythm section blazing forth, Ms Vitro’s impeccable diction, depth and sensitivity strikes a distinct chord here.” (Live at the Kennedy Center cd.) E-Jazz.com Glen Astarita - 2006 Highly recommended
"Vasandani really has something new to bring and creates such intimacy in his phrasing"- Edge Publications- "there's no disputing the jazz credentials of the effervescent young vocalist...Sachal Vasandani New York Times
“Vocalist Cindy Scott strikes gold her first time out. Scott is a musical artist who delivers fables and stories and vignettes of life and love. But the young lady can also swing you into bad health. Highly recommended.” Roger Crane AllAboutJazz.com
Venezuela-born singer Maria Marquez is a local treasure. Her utterly evocative voice - clear, tender and unaffected - was spellbinding on Milton Nascimento's "Ponta de areia."
Don't miss this great show! January 6th
Snug Harbor - 8 pm. & 10 pm.
( 626 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA (504) 949-0696)