Linda Solotaire is a vocalist best known for her exploration of the Great American Songbook.
Linda Solotaire is a vocal artist, bandleader, curator, and teaching artist. She is currently working on a collection of songs by Thelonius Monk with her collaborator/arranger Stu Greenspan. Their first project Dreams of You: the Sun, the Moon, and Johnny Mercer, embracing the dreamy world of one of America’s finest lyricists was met with critical acclaim. Her other band Songs of Love & Hate features re-imaginings of songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, the Velvet Underground and others. Performances may be infused with originals, spoken word, and projection. Songs of Love & Hate is a joyous collaboration with Chris Bernhardt on bass & vocals, Fred Simon on keys, Dave Onderdonk on guitars, Mike Levin on reeds and various percussionists. She enjoys remounting her Speakeasy Show (featuring music of the 1910’s & 20’s) as well as her straight-ahead jazz ensemble, the Linda Solotaire Quintet.
Linda is classically trained in music, theatre, and dance and began her career as an actress in the late 1970s. As a vocal artist, she is most deeply influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Abbey Lincoln, Sheila Jordan, and Judy Garland. While the Great American Songbook is at the heart of her repertoire, she strives to infuse her sets with more obscure, contemporary and original songs.
Linda studied dance, voice, music, and acting. She studied acting with William Hickey at HB Studios in NYC, and she studied voice with Typhanie Monique, Carol Loverde and others in Chicago. She received her BA from Columbia College Chicago. With a background in theory, classical, and 20th-century music, Linda has enjoyed roles in musical theater and in studio session work, and she has collaborated on original works with artists including conductor/composer Carmen Helena Téllez, playwright/composer Thomas Weber, new music composer Christopher Preissing, http://nonopera.org/NON:op Opera Company, Small Fish Radio, Local Infinities creators Meghan Strell & Charlie Levin, and poet/composer Everette Howe.
Linda was invited to join Actors Equity Association in 1984. Since then, she has had principal roles in scores of theatrical and on-camera projects ranging from Catherine in O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra to Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, from commercial industrial videos and multimedia to surreal collaborative films. She frequently works as a voice-over talent as well, and has performed in a variety of performance situations and venues around the world.
Dedicated to the democratization of the arts, Linda teaches music and theatre to children, mentors burgeoning artists and works to raise arts awareness whenever possible.
Musicians with whom Linda has performed: Harrison Bankhead, John Beard, Chris Bernhardt, Bret Benteler, Steven Corley, James Cornolo, Jim Cox, Fred Faller, Tim Fitzpatrick, Pat Flemming, Jim Gailloreto, Lise Gilly, John Goldman, Phill Gratteau, Chris Greene, Stu Greenspan, Stephen Hashimoto, Jeremy Kahn, John William Lauler, Jean-Christophe Leroy, Michael Levin, Bob Lovecchio, Dennis Luxion, Shawn Maxwell, Doug MacDonald, Donovan Mixon, Diana Mosquera, Tommy Muellner, Joe Policastro, Abigail Riccards, James Sanders, Zoey Szmulewitz, Benjamin Scholz, Paul Abella, Fred Simon, Steve Strunk, Daniel Tabion, Daniel Thatcher, Leandro Lopez Varady, Chris White and Saalik Ziyad.
Trivia: Linda has performed at the Lake Placid Olympic Arena, in ancient Turkish ruins, and on the deck of a battleship in the Mediterranean Sea.
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2016-05-31
I love jazz because each song I perform becomes its own little universe. I am a storyteller--what better way to share a story than through this most creative medium.
My House Concert Story
House Concerts must be in the air. I just began a house concert series at my home called Second Sundays Salon series. The salons have been wonderful, with attendance growing monthly. Second Sunday Salon Series is a monthly series curated by Linda Solotaire, and always includes original 2 or 3D art, a musical performance, and some other performative work (i.e., spoken word, performance art, dance, a short film screening.) All of the artists are currently living and working in Chicago. Our objective is to provide a platform for professional artists to workshop and introduce new projects, reaching new audiences, and growing our network of collaborators. We usually have a simple spread of wine, cheese and crackers, and a few sweets and ask participants for a suggested donation of $20. Audiences have been diverse in all ways - all ages, ethnicities and not your typical club goers. People actually talk to each other, talk to artists, buy art, etc. The intimate party vibe seems to make all the work more accessible and puts people at ease. After the performances, people spontaneously created an open mic- getting up to read their own poetry, raps, and jam. It's a wonderful celebration of art, conversation and humanity.