Monday, April 1, 2019

Soprano Gabrielle Goodman to Release CD: "Black Portraits: Slavery to Freedom"

Gabrielle Goodman
Vocalist, composer, educator and author Gabrielle Goodman is an artist who has left her indelible print in the music industry. The  classically trained, soulful songstress is poised to release her first classical  CD in 2019 entitled Black Portraits: Slavery to Freedom. The Baltimore-born, Peabody Conservatory graduate is known throughout the world as an extremely versatile artist who sings jazz, R&B and gospel, as well as classical music. Having been compared to Kathleen Battle, Aretha Franklin, and Ella Fitzgerald, she has graced the concert stage with the Boston Pops, The Baltimore Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, and Yamayuri Symphony among others; singing several genres of music to rave reviews.

In her formative year,  the lyric soprano honed her skills studying the works of Brahms, Schumann, Debussy, Puccini, and Bizet singing in French, German, and Italian at Peabody Preparatory and later the Peabody Conservatory, studying under Madame Alice Duchak, Gordon Hawkins, and Stanley Cornett. She also studied piano Dr. Melassenah Morris. Always enthusiastic about many styles of music, she  continued to sing  jazz and R&B performing at events in the Baltimore area at night while maintaining her classical studies.

In her second year at the conservatory, the singer received a call that changed her life. The caller was Roberta Flack’s drummer who would ask Goodman to join Flack on tour as a backing vocalist.   Within a month, the young singer was sharing the stage with Flack opening for Miles Davis in Japan. That was the beginning of a stellar career as a backing vocalist that would lead to performances and world tours with Chaka Khan, Patti Labelle, Brian Ferry, George Duke, and many others.

Other opportunities for solo performances presented themselves to Goodman and led to recordings with Norman Connors as a lead vocalist on the Capitol label and finally a solo recording contract with Verve Records where the artist recorded 2 CDs with luminaries such as Christian McBride, Terri Lyne Carrington, Gary Bartz, and others. Her credits don’t stop there. The self-proclaimed renaissance woman also has stage performances that include in Porgy & Bess, Forever Swing (where she co-starred with Michael Buble), Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Maya Angelou’s gospel opera King.  

While Goodman maintained a career as a Jazz and R&B artist, she continued to study classically. Now she is excited to release her first classical recording which features her self-penned song cycle entitled Black Portraits: Slavery To Freedom. The cycle explores the theme of slavery to freedom in song highlighting Goodman’s extraordinary talent as a singer, writer, and producer. The melodies, text, and piano accompaniment were all written by Gabrielle Goodman. Inspired by Schumann, Brahms, and Gershwin, Goodman offers lyrical melodies and lush chord progressions that tug at the heart strings; presenting cautionary tales of antebellum slavery, the advent of freedom in 1865, and modern stories of racial inequalities.
No stranger to composition, the multi-faceted singer is  an ASCAP award-winning composer. After garnering the ASCAP R&B award for Chaka Khan’s “You Can Make The Story Right” in the 1990s, and writing for other artists and herself, the singer/composer now turns her attention to classical music in her new work.

With her forthcoming classical CD Black Portraits, five solo jazz and R&B CDs, a book entitled Vocal Improvisation,  a long-standing position as professor of voice at the Berklee College of Music, numerous international tours of China, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, and various places in the US, Gabrielle Goodman has proven that she is a renaissance woman with beauty, brains, and talent. “She is one of the best singers around today”, says Roberta Flack.

Black Portraits is coming to iTunes and all outlets soon!   

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