Swinger!: A Jazz Girl's Adventures from Hollywood to Harlem

Swinger!: A Jazz Girl's Adventures from Hollywood to Harlem

by Judy Carmichael

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Overview

Judy Carmichael first made her name in the 1980s as a svelte, blonde bombshell who played stride piano-a virtuoso jazz style made famous in the '20s and '30s by Count Basie and Fats Waller. Jazz critic Gary Giddons commented, "How ironic that the last man standing is a woman, as this kind of playing was long considered the private, competitive domain of people who smoked cigars and wore derbies."

Swinger! A Jazz Girl's Adventures from Hollywood to Harlem is a collection of hilarious, moving autobiographical essays, in the David Sedaris tradition, about a California surfer-girl who dreamed of being a spy but instead became a beauty queen, an actress, a pool shark, a quarterback, and--eventually--a jazz musician.

Judy Carmichael welcomes us into her wacky, maddening, thrilling creative life--from Carnegie Hall to camels in Ephesus, to performing for Richard Gere, Rod Stewart and Robert Redford, to a three hour lunch with Billy Joel, hors d'oeuvres with Yoko Ono and the creation of her NPR show, Jazz Inspired.

Judy trudges through a Hawaiian rain forest with Sarah Vaughan, auditions as a rodeo rider, flirts with Mr. Big and gets a kiss from Paul Newman, and that's before she gets to Brazil, where things get seriously interesting.

Swinger! is a humorous, candid account of the creative life, the pursuit of one's dreams, of staying strong, and refusing to suffer. When, in her late forties, a doctor told Judy that he thought she had cervical cancer, she responded, "I'm a jazz musician, doctor. To tell you the truth, this isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to me."


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781979764414
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Judy Carmichael is one of the world's leading interpreters of stride piano and swing music. Count Basie nicknamed her "Stride," acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding style. The musician whom the New York Times called "astounding, flawless, and captivating" has played in hundreds of venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice (the first concert presented there). She has done private recitals for Rod Stewart, Robert Redford, and Bill Clinton.
A native of California, Judy moved to New York in the early '80s and has maintained a busy worldwide concert schedule ever since. The National Endowment for the Arts rewarded Carmichael with a major grant to tour colleges across the country, presenting early jazz greats on film, discussing the history and development of jazz piano. Judy's Grammy-nominated first album, Two-Handed Stride teamed her with four giants from the Count Basie Orchestra: Red Callendar, Harold Jones, Freddie Green, and Marshall Royal. Her most recent CD, Can You Love Once More? is her first of originals (lyrics by Carmichael, music by Harry Allen). Judy has written two books on stride and numerous articles on jazz; she appears in Haughton Murphy's 1990 mystery novel Murder Times Two (Simon & Schuster) as "the stride pianist Judy Carmichael," the main suspect's favorite piano player. She is included in Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in Finance and Industry in America, Who's Who in American Woman, American Women in Jazz, and the Encyclopedia of Jazz. Judy has performed frequently on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, CBS Sunday Morning.

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