FYC KATHERINE FARNHAM LATIN JAZZ CD Alquimia
Grammy U Mentor, Billboard charting, internationally acclaimed and 10-time Global Music Award winner Katherine ‘KOOL KAT’ Farnham is up for a Latin Grammy Award nomination for “Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album” with her new release ALQUIMIA. The album features original songs and well-known favorites in Spanish and Portuguese, featuring Guest Artists Latin Grammy-winning flutist and virtuoso Nestor Torres, four-time Grammy nominee and acclaimed guitarist Denny Jiosa, and beloved, award-winning Brazilian artist Guinga on vocals and guitar.
Farnham says, “This project represents the culmination of many years of work. The concept is spiritual in the sense that it describes the work of soul perfection. I have had close friends since college who spoke Spanish or Portuguese as their first language. In 2016 I wrote the opening song “Tango” and in 2019 when we were finishing the Love Philosophy CD I went through the songs and realized I had enough to to make a complete Latin jazz album. So that project actually led well to this. This CD expresses the love for music and for people and reminds the listener not to lose the joy of life even in challenging times.”
The third-generation musician and singer/songwriter/pianist has just won her sixth Global Music Award honor for “Female Vocalist” for the album and another for one of the album’s singles, her elegant version of “Besame Mucho” winning four times Grammy nominee Denny Jiosa. HG Radio in Mexico also nominated her for her Spanish language singing with “Cantante Feminine del Ano”.
Musical Memoirs Jazz says: “…exuberant, upbeat production…powerful vocals, multi-talented woman. Farnham has deep roots and an early education in music. The piano line is a surprise and supports her voice in this refreshed arrangement (Besame Mucho).” Exclusive Magazine says, “Vibrantly earthy and utterly embracing… luscious Latin melodies… simply beautiful.” Midwest Record raves, “Farnham is no stranger when When it comes to high notes, she takes her four-octave range on a dramatic ride south of the equator, where she enlists some Latin jazz stars to help her bring this dramatic set to the fore Four on The Floor takes no prisoner delivery, Farnham brings along all of Strum and Drang Tango et al including a generous helping of their own special sauce Sets like this define ‘performance’.
Farnham recorded her first duet, A Vox do Mundo, on ALQUIMIA. It features Farnham on lead vocals and piano and Guinga singing and adding Brazilian-style acoustic guitar. The song is a tribute to her friend, the late journalist, radio host and producer Toninho Spessoto. The song is a moving tribute to a man who supported both Brazilian and American jazz.
Guinga is a well-known and popular artist from Rio de Janeiro who has written songs for the famous Brazilian singer Elis Regina as well as Michel Legrand and others. At the age of 13, Guinga taught himself to play the guitar. He later formally studied music, including five years of classical guitar lessons with the renowned Jodacil Damasceno. Guinga began composing music at the age of 16 and by the age of 17 he had already qualified one of his compositions for the Festival Internacional da Cano (International Festival of Singing). By the time he became a professional musician, Guinga had accompanied famous Brazilian artists such as Clara Nunes, Beth Carvalho, Alade Costa, Cartola and Joo Nogueira, among others. His songs have been recorded by Elis Regina, Michel Legrand, Srgio Mendes, Leila Pinheiro, Chico Buarque, Clara Nunes and Ivan Lins.
The four-octave singer and classically trained Farnham has also recorded with legendary saxophonist and Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, Grammy nominee Mindi Abair and Grammy winner and Blues Hall of Famer Darrell Leonard. She has appeared on Good Morning America, NBC 6 and Telemundo and toured the United States and abroad. She performed to a full house at the Hub City Jazz Festival in New Jersey and shared stages with Latin jazz greats Tito Puente Jr. and Celia Cruz. She has even inspired audiences with her courage at major sporting events such as the Ericsson Open (female performers only), the Miami Marathon and national events for NASCAR.
Katherine is one of the recent recipients of the Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. (Other honorees include Colin Powell, Wonder Woman entertainer Lynda Carter, and actress Dee Wallace.) She has also won Los Angeles Music Award nominations for Best Jazz Artist and Americana: Blues & Roots Artist, and was named Selected “Best Female Singer/Songwriter” in the quarter-century history of the Los Angeles Music Awards and also won a Las Vegas Counter Culture Award for “Best Jazz Performer”. For the album “Love Philosophy” she received Global Music Awards for “Jazz/Emerging Artist” and “Jazz/Blues Song” as well as five other awards for “Female Vocalist” (English and Spanish) and one for “Songwriter”.
Farnham is no stranger to singing in Spanish, having been chosen to represent Miami-Dade County in Florida as the artist and writer behind Miami’s Theme Song of Unity. For this project, she was recognized by both the Recording Academy and the mayor, who included her song on his public service radio and television announcements with a message of ethnic unity.
Farnham, a third-generation musician, began starring in a school play at the tender age of five and gave her first jazz solo performance a few months later. She studied with her mother, a concert pianist and singing teacher for the Sante Fe Opera. Her debut sold out and her subsequent discography has garnered interviews and airplays in the US, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa, as well as rave reviews in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
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