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Thu, Aug. 22

Catherine Russell returns to Prescott

Jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell is returning to Prescott, performing at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center Saturday, April 21.

Looking forward to coming back, Russell said the people of Prescott were very nice to her. After her show was over last time, they asked when she was coming back, she said.

“That’s all you want right there,” Russell said. “We pretty much planned that right after my first show there, so that was very encouraging.”

Native to New York, Russell was born into musical royalty. Her father, Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer and Louis Armstrong’s longtime collaborator and musical director while her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist, guitarist, vocalist and held advanced degrees from Julliard and Manhattan School of Music. Ray also performed with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams and Ruth Brown.

Growing up, Catherine Russell said she listened to all kinds of different music. She’s influenced by everything from the Great American Songbook and blues to Motown and early jazz, she said. She’s still realizing music was what she was meant to do, Catherine Russell said.

“It was a process,” she said. “I was a dancer first when I was a child and then I kind of just evolved into having music be my work.”

Tickets range from $32 to $50 and youth tickets are $10. They can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 928-776-2000. Prices will increase by $5 the day of the show and a $3 service fee will be added to each purchased ticket.

Catherine Russell has worked with a number of notable names in music over the years, such as Cyndi Lauper, Rosanne Cash, David Bowie, Paul Simon and Michael Feinstein. They all stand out, she said, stating she tries to learn from everybody she’s worked with.

Every place is different too as traveling and singing for different audiences across the country and over the world gives a good variety to life, Russell said. She’s gotten to visit a lot of the United States she’s never been, performed in Europe, and makes friends wherever she goes, she said. It’s a nice lifestyle, Russell said.

In the upcoming show, she said she likes to have a good time, mixing things up. Primarly, she’ll do songs she’s recorded but will also throw in an assortment of music, such as early blues from the 1920s, swing and 1940s/1950s Dinah Washington style songs, Russell said.

“We like to have fun and share music with people. We do some popular songs that they would recognize and some by major artists that they’re of but they might not necessarily know the tune,” she said. “It’s also nice to be able to introduce people to material that is lesser known in some cases or hasn’t been heard for 50, 60, 70 years.”

The Yavapai College and Performing Arts Center is located at 1100 E. Sheldon St. For more information, visit

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