2022 Grammy Nominee, and recipient of the Los Angeles Jazz Society's Jazz Vocalist Award, Carmen Bradford, was born in Austin, Texas and raised in Altadena, California. Carmen Bradford grew up with music in her home and in her heart. It was only natural that Carmen would follow in the footsteps of her great family legacy being the daughter of legendary coronetist/composer Bobby Bradford and world-renown jazz vocalist/composer/author Melba Joyce.
Her grandfather Melvin Moore sang with Lucky Millender and his Big Band; Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band in the 1940's; and sang with the Ink Spots, making Carmen the third generation of incredible musicians. She has carved out a place in music history for herself and is playing an integral role in this uniquely American art form called Jazz. Carmen Bradford is jazz royalty.
At the age of 22 years old, Carmen was discovered and hired by William "Count" Basie and was the featured vocalist in the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years. She has since performed and/or recorded with; Wynton Marsalis, Shelly Berg, Jeremy Monteiro, John Clayton, along with the Clayton- Hamilton Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Tierney Sutton, Liz Wright, Patti Austin, Byron Stripling, Dori Caymmi, George Benson, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Kurt Elling, Jeff Tyzik, Freddie Cole, Benny Carter, Kenny Rankin, Lou Rawls, James Newton, David Murray, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Dani Felber Big Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, along with the National Symphony, RochesterPhilharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Philadelphia Pops, and countless artist around the world. Carmen performed on two Grammy Award winning albums with the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1980's and later collaborated on a third Grammy Award winning album, "Big Boss Band" with guitarist George Benson in 1991. Her soulful voice warmed the hearts of the world through the celebrated performance of the classic duet, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" on the TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson that same year.
Carmen Bradford began another chapter in her illustrious career as a solo artist with her critically acclaimed debut album, "Finally Yours" (Evidence Records) in 1992. The 1995 release of her second solo album, "With Respect" (Evidence Records) established the Atlanta based singer as one of "jazz music's most diverse and exciting vocal stylist" proving to the world that Carmen Bradford was a unique voice in her own right.
Carmen Bradford teamed with singer/composer Kenny Rankin for the Benny Carter Songbook Project making history once again on the duet "And All That Jazz". Some notable artist also on the album were Joe Williams, Ruth Brown, Bobby Short, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Diane Reeves, Jon Hendricks, among others. Carmen was asked by Benny Carter to sing "Key Largo" for this Grammy Award winning album. Her Performance on "The Benny Carter Songbook" marked another of Carmen's beautiful recording collaborations reaffirming her stardom.