Meredith D’ Ambrosio

A jazz vocalist and pianist, Meredith d’Ambrosio is known for her sensitive and intelligent interpretations of lesser-known works by the greats. Meredith d’Ambrosio, a soft-toned singer whose thoughtful interpretations of lyrics are always clear and precise, is also a skilled pianist accompanist. Her father was a big band singer, and her mother was a nightclub pianist. At six years old, d’Ambrosio started to learn piano and sing. After she graduated from high school, she attended the Boston Museum School (1958-1959) and became a professional musician. She also was a painter. John Coltrane invited her to join his Japanese tour in 1966. She declined, believing she wasn’t ready. She began recording more than a decade later with her husband, pianist Eddie Higgins. Meredith d’Ambrosio is an introverted performer who can be listened to by all. She has recorded sets for Spring Inc. (1978), Shiah (81), and Palo Alto (1982). Sunnyside, where she made her recording home in 1985, later reissued all albums from these labels. From 1982 to 1985, she was in the Top Five in Down Beat International Critics Jazz Poll for Female Vocalist. She also ranked in the 1987-1991 Top Five. She was a regular guest on Marian McPartland’s syndicated radio show Piano Jazz in 1994. She is well-known as a composer and lyricist as well as a teacher. D’Ambrosio is also well-respected in the visual arts community. She’s a calligrapher and watercolorist as well as the creator of eggshell mosaics. For someone like her, she has been recording steadily, if not prolifically. Her standout recordings include The Cove, with Fred Hersch and Lee Konitz in 1988; Shadowland in 1995 with Jay Leonhart, Erik Friedlander and Jay Leonhart; and Silent Passion in 1997 with Gene Bertoncini (a duet recording that features her voice and piano). In 2000, she released Out of Nowhere. This resulted in her being nominated for the prestigious Django award from the French Academy of Jazz for Best Female Jazz Voice. 2002 was a great year for d’Ambrosio. Sunnyside re-released a number of recordings from her back catalogue as well as a new album called Love Is for the Birds. D’Ambrosio did not record again until 2006 when she released Wishing on the Moon. After a lengthy break, she concentrated on her painting, touring, performing at festivals and teaching. In 2012, she reemerged with By Myself. It was a collection 14 songs by Arthur Schwartz (1900-1984). This album was her first to be dedicated to one composer. D’Ambrosio’s piano is the only accompaniment to the album. Allmusic

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