Actor-singer Claudia Hommel brings the intimacy of song from Paris cabaret to Chicago house concert.
An American from Paris --
A favorite from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Lapin Agile in Paris, actor/singer CLAUDIA HOMMEL is best known for her cabaret concerts of French and American songs celebrating Paris. Not limited to the role of French chanteuse, "Claudia Hommel is a gifted and uniquely versatile artist, with a wide range of roles demanding deep emotional commitment or zany satirical high-jinks and everything in between," writes her mentor, actor and director Alvin Epstein. Claudia's repertoire encompasses French chanson, American standards, 19th and 20th century art songs and theatre music.
Born in Paris and raised in Detroit, trained extensively in New York City where she lived for 8 years, and now calling Chicago home, Claudia leads an active career as a theatrical singer in clubs, recital halls, museums, libraries and theatres from New York City to California, often in association with members of the American Association of Teachers of French. Her academic background in history and archives infuses her school residencies, workshops and master classes with revelations of social and cultural history and criticism.
She often shares the stage with other members of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals, which she co-founded in 1998.
The Maison Clobert label features Claudia's recordings of Parisian cabaret concerts: Paris/Paree, Paris in the Jazz Age, and Romance Language: French songs for lovers (featuring the legendary jazz violinist Johnny Frigo), and the classical-jazz crossover albums The Jazz Fauré Project: au bord de l'eau and By the Riverbank.
Claudia Hommel brings to student and adult singers more than three decades of stage and song career. She approaches each student and each song with insights and energy that come from her own studies with international singer Martha Schlamme, actor/director Alvin Epstein, music director Steve Blier (New York Festival of Song), voice teachers Roberta Vatske (New York), Carolyn Grimes (Detroit), and currently Stephen Smith (Northwestern); Art Song sessions led by Dalton Baldwin, various Shakespeare workshops with John Basil and Stratford Players of Ontario, Meisner technique studio work, and modern dance.
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because it invites collaboration.
The great jazz violinist Johnny Frigo graced me with his good humor. After recording our first duo for the album "Romance Language," Johnny called to say "that was magic!" A great wow moment!
My first jazz records were gifts from my "classical" piano-teacher father: LPs of Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" and John Coltrane's "Love Supreme."
My advice to new listeners is keep your ears open. Like the Duke says, "There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind."