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Irene Atman

“My greatest inspiration as a child came from my father's old record collection stored in a box in the fruit cellar. I listened to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and popular singers like Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield. All of the greats".

While attending the University of Toronto, Irene Atman began her career as a jazz singer as the lead vocalist with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra. "One of the greatest things about singing with this big band was that some of the best musicians in the world would sub in - greats like Moe Koffman on flute and sax." "I learned a lot from just listening to these guys."

Soon after, as word traveled quickly through the jazz community, Irene was invited to perform with other jazz luminaries like the Boss Brass, Guido Basso and Oscar Peterson alumni, Dave Young and Terry Clarke. Early career highlights included an appearance on the same bill as Tony Bennett and Luciano Pavarotti.

To escape the cold Canadian winters, Atman ventured south to Miami to sing jazz onboard cruise ships sailing the Caribbean. ”Some very cool musicians from the Berkley School of Music were there. It was a great experience to discover world music from the islands” recalls Atman. Continuing to grow and define her personal style, she moved to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, to take up a two year stint singing on the historic Delta Queen Riverboat.

Longing to come home after being away for a few years, Irene returned to Toronto. She soon after discovered that the live jazz scene changed, many of the clubs had closed. Her music career was suddenly put on hold and she had to make choices to survive. Irene took a job in advertising, which sidelined her music career for the next few years. Then, one night at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in LA, Atman’s co-workers persuaded her to sing an impromptu performance at the piano bar. Her colleagues were astounded, ‘If I could sing like you, I’d quit my day job and sing jazz for a living too”. That moment was a turning point. Determined to not give up, she vowed to pursue her life-long dream with rekindled passion.

In 2007, Atman connected with her friend and pianist Danny McErlain and produced her self-titled independent debut CD. The ‘live-off-the-floor’ studio session consisted of her interpretation of eleven time-honored classics from the Great American Songbook. Even without the promotional support of a record label, she still managed to use her advertising savvy to generate some buzz, especially amongst the jazz media who lavished her with praise.

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Album Review

Irene Atman: New York Rendezvous

Read "New York Rendezvous" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Canadian songbird Irene Atman follows her highly acclaimed self-titled, indepedent debut of 2007 with another remarkable effort, this time recording ten gentle standards in an auspicious New York Rendezvous with pianist Frank Kimbrough and other New York players, providing a new meaning to the phrase “New York state of mind." Meeting Kimbrough twenty years ago on, as she states, “a forgettable cruise," Atman reached out to Kimbrough with the thought of recording her second album in New York, to which ...

Album Review

Irene Atman: New York Rendezvous

Read "New York Rendezvous" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Every once in a while, a fresh voice comes along that's worthy of notice. Or, in the case of Irene Atman, it's an experienced voice with a fresh interpretation of classics. When other children wanted to hear bedtime stories or have parents sing them to sleep, Atman sang to herself. By the age of seven, she'd become attached to the recordings of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, among others. As a young adult, ...

Live Review

Irene Atman at the Slide Bar, Sydney, Australia

Read "Irene Atman at the Slide Bar, Sydney, Australia" reviewed by Barry O'Sullivan

Irene AtmanSlide BarSydney, AustraliaApril 15, 2008Slide Bar, Oxford Street is a difficult venue for a jazz vocalist. Blessed with a hi- tech sound system but hindered by a somewhat small and an almost too close stage to audience set up , it is a venue that for the inexperienced could prove a conundrum. But for the Canadian vocalist Irene Atman's only Sydney gig it proved to be no folly. She's no inexperienced vocalist, having sung ...

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Performance / Tour

Vocalist Irene Atman Performs at the Kitano on June 3rd, 2009

Vocalist Irene Atman Performs at the Kitano on June 3rd, 2009

Source: Two for the Show Media

Vocalist Irene Atman will be performing with her Quintet at The Kitano in NYC on Wednesday June 3rd, 2009 in celebration of her new release “New York Rendezvous” Irene Atman - Vocals Frank Kimbrough - Piano Jay Anderson - Bass George Schuller - drums Joel Frahm - Saxophone Set times 8:00 PM & 10:00 PM No Cover. For information call (800) 548-2666 “New York Rendezvous is an exceptional addition to ...


Performance / Tour

Irene Atman - Live at Dizzy's, Melbourne Australia

Irene Atman - Live at Dizzy's, Melbourne Australia

Source: All About Jazz

ITake the sassiness of Anita O'Day, mix in the note-perfect purity of Lee Wiley, add a cup of Doris Day sunniness and stir in some Dianne Reeves soul. Cook well. That's the recipe for one utterly delightful jazz singer and it's not a made-up formula. Canada's Irene Atman has emerged from the Dizzy's Jazz Club oven as the real thing, a formidable talent who combines the gifts of her more famous sisters in swing, then adds her own considerable talents ...

JAZZREVIEW - Susan Francis, 2009 You can hear it in Irene Atman’s voice, she was tutored by Petula Clark, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee. Well, maybe not literally because Atman is too young to have been trained by these ladies, but Atman learned to sing like these ladies when she was a little girl and exposed to her parents record recollection which included these artists and many other jazz vocalists like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Atman has that irresistible intonation ringing in her timbres which jazz vocalists have. She has a storybook perfect pitch able to touch the listener’s soul, understand the sorrows that burrow in their hearts, stroke their sensibilities with tender caresses and lick their wounds. She has a voice that can make the hardest soul melt in her lap, and the repertoire that she chose to showcase on her latest album, New York Rendezvous will have audiences doing just that.

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