65: Duchess, vocal group
Duchess is a three part close harmony vocal group comprised of - in no special order - Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou. All three are accomplished jazz singers in their own right, who came together for a one off gig at the 55 Bar in New York’s West Village several years ago, and realized that there was something there worth exploring.
Duchess’ live show is cheeky, fun, hip, swinging, loose, and easy to get with. So, as Hilary says, one might not notice that along the way, they’re playing with classic tropes and assumptions about chick singers from the stage.
I did a short recording session last fall with Duchess, and really enjoyed spending time with all of them together. It was clear to me that talking to all three of them would make sense, and give me an opportunity to explore what it’s like to be a jazz singer in New York through their eyes.
This conversation explores how each singer’s individual background, how they came to form Duchess, and how they all think about career and craft.
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