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Cathy DeWitt

Cathy DeWitt was destined to be a musician, and playing jazz is in her blood. Before she was born her father Bruce led his own band in New Orleans, regularly opening for Louis Armstrong at Pete Fountain's place. At a very early age music filled her house, from her father's Dixieland trumpet and stride piano to the Rachmaninoff and Chopin pieces her brother Peter, a prodigy pianist, rehearsed every day on the grand piano in the living room. As the family gathered to watch the television variety shows of the 60s, she heard all the famous singers interpreting the great songbook of jazz and show tunes, and she never forgot the lyrics to many of those songs.

After honing her harmonic skills as a member of the University of Florida Choir and Willis Bodine's Chamber Singers, Cathy met and began performing with jazz guitarist Charlie Bush. This was the beginning of her career as a jazz singer, which led to performances throughout Florida, as well as New York, California, London, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. After Charlie's untimely death in 1984 she formed her own band, MoonDancer, which is still playing today.

An award-winning composer, she has two songs which placed in Unisong's International Songwriting Contest (competing with over 4,000 entries from nearly 100 countries)in the Jazz and Overall Performance categories: "Everybody's Somebody's Child" in 2006 and "I Get Spring Fever in the Fall" in 2007. Her doo-wop tune, "Slow Dancin'" reached the semi-final status

As a guest vocalist, Cathy has sung at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in New York with Bobby Sanabria, Rue B in New York with Rob Bargad, and Pearl's in San Francisco with Bruce Forman. A board member of the Gainesville Friends of Jazz & Blues, she has produced and/or performed in many concerts, singing with great musicians including pianists Dave Frishberg, Frank Sullivan and Rob Bargad, guitarists Larry Camp and Mark Fox, and bassists Walter Booker and Mark Neuenschwander. Several of these concerts were recorded for broadcast by the local public radio affiliate, WUFT, and make up the basis of her album, Love Notes.

Awards

Unisong International Contest Composer/Performer Award Honorable Mention for Everybody's Somebody's Child 2006 and I Get Spring Fever in the Fall 2007. Slow Dancin', a doo-wop tune, a semi-finalist in ISC (International Songwriting Contest) Posi-Music Video Award (Honorable Mention) for Everybody's Somebody's Child 2013 National Penwomen Award, Composing, Gainesville Branch, 2011 2010 Musician of the Year, Gainesville FL ReverbNation Regional #1 Jazz Musician for all of 2016

Gear

Yamaha and Kawai pianos, Korg and Yamaha keyboards, Neumann and Sennheiser microphones


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Album Review
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"There are few people who I listen to over and over, and Cathy DeWitt is one. There is a quality about her voice that is so inviting and warm. The range of her voice is amazing." "DUETS put me in such a wonderful space after a very hard day! I am going to play this album every day until it wears out. It is my sanity music.” Christina Tourin, Director, International Harp Therapy Program, classical and jazz harpist. California

"Cathy DeWitt's song 'I get Spring Fever in the Fall' is a modern day standard. If you hear someone say, 'They don't write songs like they used to,' you can correct them and say, ‘Oh yes they do!’ And then play them this gem of Cathy's." Christine Lavin, deejay, Sirius Satellite Radio. Songwriter/Musician/Performer, New York

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Primary Instrument

Voice / vocals

Clinic/Workshop Information

Vocal Improvisation—how to make the most of YOUR instrument. (Voice) Through scat singing, listening and repeating lines, and a small amount of basic theory, participants will learn how to sing around the melody and behind the beat, use phrasing that fits the context of the words, and other important tricks and techniques of great jazz vocals.

Dianne Reeves
voice / vocals
Ella Fitzgerald
voice / vocals
Carmen McRae
voice / vocals
Sarah Vaughan
voice / vocals

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Love Notes

Dreamsong
2004

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Everybody's Somebody's Child

From: Love Notes
By Cathy DeWitt

Everybody's Somebody's Child

From: Love Notes
By Cathy DeWitt

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