All Press Releases for August 09, 2006

'Pretty Blues' CD Release Celebration! Two Hot Dates in August - and a Jazz Fashion Show in September Antoinette Montague with the Bill Easley Quartet

Antoinette Montague has released her debut CD, PRETTY BLUES and has a series of live dates scheduled to support this new release. She will be appearing with the Bill Easley Quartet, led by Jazz music great, Bill Easley.

    /24-7PressRelease/ - August 09, 2006 - Antoinette Montague with the Bill Easley Quartet
John DiMartino (piano) Paul West (bass)

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2006
When: 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm
Location: The Bacchus Room
at Bona Fides Restaurant
60 2nd Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets)
New York, NY

Tickets: two-drink minimum
Contact: 212-777-2840
Norman Q, Q Productions 973-672-5406
[email protected]

Jazz at the Plaza
Outdoor Summer Festival

Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006
When: 6:00 pm
Location: City Hall Plaza
East Orange Department of Parks & Recreation
East Orange, NJ
Tickets: FREE to the public

Just Rent It African Apparel presents
A Jazz Fashion Show/Dance

Date: Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006
When: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: The Elegant Rose Hall Catering Hall
4848 White Plains Road
Bronx, NY (near the Mt. Vernon border)
Contact: Ruby Figuroa. 914-699-2924

Antoinette Montague: "Her debut CD, Pretty Blues is available at fine retail record stores like Tower, Virgin, and from and among other outlets. Joining Antoinette on this disk are a group of Jazz music masters: Mulgrew Miller (Piano), Bill Easley (Saxophone, Flute), Kenny Washington (Drums), and Peter Washington (Bass).

Pretty Blues is not a "garden variety" release of standards. No, It's a precisely chosen mix of ballads, blues and swing. With her song selection, Antoinette creates a mood that lets you know that what she has is special. Every selection is personal and a tribute to her mentors and to those who influenced her musically. And her mentors include the legendary Carrie Smith and our late, beloved Etta Jones.

A lesser singer might have shied away from recording songs that are so indentified with others, but not Antoinette. I can listen to her renditions of "Dedicated to You," "Teach Me Tonight," and "At Last," without longing to hear the versions by Johnny Hartman, Etta Jones or Etta James.

Humility and excellence is what Antoinette brings to her debut recording. It has been a long time coming but it was worth the wait."

- from Sheila Anderson's liner notes. Sheila Anderson, heard regularly on WBGO 88.3 Jazz Radio, is also the author of "The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac" and "How to Grow as a Musician."

For PRETTY BLUES, Montague assembled a top band of some of the best jazz masters in the country with a wealth of credits -- pianist Mulgrew Miller (Woody Shaw, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Branford Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves), tenor saxophonist and flutist Bill Easley (Duke Ellington Orchestra, Benny Carter, Ruth Brown, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Isaac Hayes, Dakota Staton), drummer Kenny Washington (Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Joshua Redman, Phil Woods), and bassist Peter Washington (Art Blakey, Benny Green, Lionel Hampton, Marlena Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Michal Urbaniak). Montague co-produced with musical director Kenny Washington while Miller contributed arrangements.

On the CD, Antoinette covers some classic material. She shows her blues roots on the opening medley, "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water/Everyday I have The Blues." Following that full-throated blues number, Montague comes right back with the delicately-sung sweet love song "Unless It's You" ("We're never completely free of people we have loved and this song reminds me of doubts I had when leaving relationships"). Antoinette also shows what she can do with standards - three by Irving Berlin ("How Deep Is The Ocean," the top-speed "From This Moment On" and "Blue Skies") and a pair by Sammy Cohn ("Dedicated To You" and "Teach Me Tonight"). The album title comes from her version of the Joe Williams tune "Pretty Blue." Among other tunes, Antoinette sings "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" written by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie for the movie "The Color Purple." "That song is for all my 'sistuhs' out there. It acknowledges the lonesome, scuffling road, but encourages women to raise their self-esteem and believe in themselves."

Before headlining her own shows, she sat in on hundreds of gigs in an effort to practice her craft, learn the ropes and work her way into the music scene. The past decade Antoinette has been one of the hardest-working jazz-and-blues singers in New York City. For example, on Monday nights when there are jam sessions at clubs allover town, she would often sing a song or two with the Harlem Renaissance Band at Lucy's and then hop over to 125th Street to vocalize in front of the Cotton Club Big Band directed by Ed Passant. Montague has worked regularly with Bill Easley, Tom Aalfs and Mike Longo's New York State of the Art Band (including the 88th Birthday Celebration of Dizzy Gillespie). She also was in the Great Women in Music Festival at Birdland with the Duke Ellington Band, directed by Jack Jeffers and filmed for television by the BET on Jazz channel. Antoinette performed at the 10th Anniversary of International Women in Jazz (she serves as the Vice President of that organization), and the NAACP's Tribute to Milt Jackson.

When Antoinette was a teenager, she got a hard dose of the blues when her older sister, who had helped raise Antoinette, died of kidney failure. Only a couple of years later her mother died from a brain tumor. Music helped get her through those hard times and took some of the pain away. "Publicly I was stoic; privately the music would let me sing and cry and feel relief." Antoinette sang "Send in the Clowns" at her high school graduation ceremony. She went to Seton Hall University on a full academic Martin Luther King Scholarship and joined the college's Voices United gospel choir which got to open for Walter Hawkins, Mighty Clouds of Joy and the Soul Stirrers. This led to her joining another gospel group, the Judah Chorale. She performed with an R&B group and recorded some demo tapes, sang in a blues band called Five Kings and a Queen, took piano lessons, and studied vocal techniques under Norman Simmons, Kate Baker, Inez McClendon and Jim Carson. Montague also recorded a not-yet-released album with Norman Simmons, Paul West, Joe Farnesworth and Tom Aalfs.

"On my CD I sing the tune 'Teach Me Tonight' and it has been my theme song for the past few years because I have been learning as much as I can about music from everyone I meet. The biggest lesson I have learned from performing music is to try and 'live better.' With my music and by my example, I would like to inspire people to go out and do new things and make their lives better."

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Que Productions
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