The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 05.30.11

The Pace Report: "Brenda's Way" The Brenda Russell Interview

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Probably hailed as one of the most important songwriters of her generation, Brenda Russell’s music has touched a nerve with both her fans as well as musicians that have recorded her music for well over 30 years. The Brooklyn, New York native returned home to perform at The Blue Note Jazz Club’s 30th Anniversary performance celebration featuring the George Duke Trio. Grammy-Award Winning bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spaulding and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington backed Mr. Duke and Miss. Russell in what would be two sold-out nights of fire-filled jazz and R & B. Russell moved to Hamilton, Ontario when she was a teen and was bitten by the music bug by her parents who were professional musicians while living in New York. Although Hamilton was a major cultural adjustment for her, she got her first start in the business when she graduated from high school and auditioned for vocalist in a rock band. From there she auditioned for the rock musical Hair. It was years later when she and her then husband Brian Russell struck a cord with rocker Elton John who saw them performing back-up with the legendary Neil Sedaka. John, who formed Rocket Records who Sedaka recorded for at the time, gave the two of them a record deal and recorded their first records in the mid-1970’s. Since the late 1970’s Brenda has recorded and written iconic hits like “Piano In The Dark,” “Get Here,” “So Good, So Right,” and “If Only For One Night.” Brenda’s songs have been recorded by well over 200 artists ranging from Oleta Adams, Earth, Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, and Chaka Khan. Her latest disc “In The Thick Of It: The Best of Brenda Russell” showcases her music spanning some 30 years. Its a must have for those avid Brenda Russell fans as well as introduces new fans to the diverse and prolific musical talents of this incredible songwriter. For upcoming tour dates, please visit her online atmoreless

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