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It might seem strange to describe a singer as hip as Clairdee as a throwback, but she’s an artist who embodies creative values that have largely gone out of style. With her lustrous voice and soulful delivery, she hearkens back to a time when jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues often blended seamlessly together. Combining scene-stealing charisma with heartfelt humility and a sincere belief in the transformative power of music, Clairdee has honed a repertoire of standards set to state of the art arrangements that are equally smart and entertaining.

"I am a jazz inspired storyteller," Clairdee says. "I choose songs that have some relevance to my life experiences and to human vulnerabilities. I want the music I sing to stir emotions, to make a connection, to be accessible."

It was her finely honed jazz sensibility and old-school attitude about the importance of communicating with audiences that attracted legendary manager John Levy to the San Francisco-based singer. For Levy, who has worked with many of jazz’s greatest artists, Clairdee’s gift for putting her own stamp on a song while capturing its essence has broad appeal.

"I remember when you could clearly understand all the lyrics and every song was a story," says Levy, who has always had an ear for jazz originals. At 93, he’s worked with many of the music’s greatest artists, including some of Clairdee’s biggest influences, such as Shirley Horn, Joe Williams and Nancy Wilson, who has found in Clairdee a kindred spirit. “In the tradition of all great vocalists,” Wilson says, "Clairdee infuses each song with her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself."

Clairdee's stylistically encompassing approach is beautifully documented on her latest CD, Music Moves which is distributed by Hyena and was recorded live at Yoshi’s. The album captures her soul-infused sound with a version of "Summertime" inspired by her love of Donny Hathaway and Al Green. Her knack for pairing songs that enhance each other is perfectly embodied in a mashup of the Joe Williams/Count Basie hit, "All Right, Okay, You Win," with the lean instrumental funk of Les McCann and Eddie Harris’s, “Cold Duck Time.” It’s a fascinating counterpoint to her previous release, Destination Moon a luminous collection of beloved standards, such as "Star Eyes,""I've Got the World On A String" and "Time After Time," which she delivers with casual intimacy, turning each piece into an incisive emotional journey.

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Album Review

Clairdee: A Love Letter To Lena

Read "A Love Letter To Lena" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Revered decades after her passing, Lena Horne has remained an icon in the realms of music, stage & screen, and civil rights activism. With A Love Letter to Lena, San Francisco-based vocalist Clairdee assumes the task of saluting Horne by way of selections from Billy Strayhorn and other great American composers. And the inclusion of narration and quotes from Horne adds a special perspective and further poignancy to this fine musical effort. “Old Devil Moon," originally recorded ...

Album Review

Clairdee: A Love Letter To Lena

Read "A Love Letter To Lena" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

A fixture on the Bay Area jazz scene, Clairdee has established herself as a self-assured singer and an artist who's never content in repeating an idea. Her first three albums move from the studio to the holidays to the stage, demonstrating a high level of comfort in disparate settings and seasons. This fourth project—a tribute to Lena Horne, realized after a decade of thought on the matter—will likely extend that reputation while marking her as a strong conceptualist.

Live Review

Clairdee: Half Moon Bay, CA, May 8, 2011

Read "Clairdee: Half Moon Bay, CA, May 8, 2011" reviewed by Bill Leikam

ClairdeeDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaMay 8, 2011 On Mother's Day, May 8, 2011, the historic Douglas Beach House (aka Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society) in Half Moon Bay, California was buzzing about Clairdee's impending performance. When the full house had settled in, her stellar band--musical director/pianist Ken French, world class bassist Ruth Davies, guitarist John Hoy and world renowned percussionist Jim Zimmerman--took to the stage and warmed the audience with Sonny Clark's upbeat ...

Album Review

Clairdee: Music Moves

Read "Music Moves" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

One thing that makes live music great is the way artists feed off an audience's energy. San Francisco-based vocalist Clairdee makes that point clear on the opening notes of “Yes Sir, That's My Baby, the first song on Music Moves. As the audience applauds the introduction, Clairdee says that's the reaction she wants to hear, “even if you don't mean it. This playful approach is Clairdee's modus operandi--a style that says be serious in creating the sound but ...

Album Review

Clairdee: Music Moves

Read "Music Moves" reviewed by Jim Santella

Music in motion. That's what Clairdee's performances are. Recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland, California, Music Moves reveals a singer who communicates with her audience on all levels. It's easy to love her music and the way she delivers it.

In her comments on this album, Clairdee mentions her deep respect for singers of jazz and blues, such as Ruth Brown, Al Green, Donny Hathaway, and Frank Sinatra. The album's final track is a salute to Eddie Harris, ...

Album Review

Clairdee: This Christmas

Read "This Christmas" reviewed by Jim Santella

It’s that time of year for celebrations. A party atmosphere surrounds Clairdee’s contemporary gift package, adorned with ribbons of R&B, traditional blues, Latin jazz, and a heartfelt appreciation of the Christmas spirit. She interprets classic songs that have been handed down by favorite composers and lyricists such as Charles Brown, Alec Wilder, Thad Jones, Mel Torme, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, and Horace Silver.

Brown’s “Bringing In a New Year” promises to replace the other traditional anthems for ...

Album Review

Clairdee: Destination Moon

Read "Destination Moon" reviewed by Dave Nathan

If a singer chooses to perform a program of standards in a laid back, relaxed manner, the vocalist had better have the chops to sustain slow tempos because there's nowhere to hide. One very fine singers now working out of the San Francisco area, Clairdee, pulls it off going away. With her husky, deep toned contralto, she runs through a musical agenda of eleven standards and near standards. All the usual adjectives rightfully apply to Clairdee's voice and delivery - ...

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Music Industry

Clairdee's Inside Story - Hi-Tech and Grass Roots

Clairdee's Inside Story - Hi-Tech and Grass Roots

Source: Davis & Associates Public Relations

A little-known singer with a big talent has attracted the attention of a legendary talent manager and a pair of Grammy-winning producers. The stir started last January at the International Association of Jazz Educators' conference where Clairdee's showcase had everyone's toes a- tapping. But in today's marketplace, with its focus on youth and pop- culture, the path to a sustainable career as a real jazz artist is more difficult than ever. If anyone knows this to be true it is ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

A Love Letter To Lena

Declare Music


Spiritu Sancto

Papillon Recordings


Music Moves

Declare Music


This Christmas

Declare Music


Destination Moon

Declare Music


Destination Moon

Declare Music


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

From: Spiritu Sancto
By Clairdee


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