Showing posts from 2010

In the Recording Studio

This past month I spent several exciting and rewarding days in a recording studio in L.A. working on my next album. This is a project I decided to pursue with only John Chiodini on guitar to complement my singing--a duo project all the way through. Lest anyone think the result could be monotonous or predictable, John used several different guitars (electric, acoustic, nylon string and steel string) to create different colors for each song and the songs themselves are extremely diverse in style, mood, theme, tempo and genre. We assembled nine of my original songs (which have never been recorded) and five jazz standards that I had arranged to complete this compendium. The project is still very much in production, but I must say it is highly original...I have not heard anything else quite like it. In the words of my trusted musical partner, John: "The world will be a better place with this album than it would be without it!" Words to cherish, those.

I expect to call the…

Artist Residencies

I am thrilled with the relatively recent news that I have been selected by Ithaca College School of Music faculty to be their 2011-12 Robert G. Boehmler Visiting Artist! Each year this faculty selection committee chooses only one outstanding international performing artist to visit the campus and provide a week or so of workshops, clinics, master classes, lectures and concerts for the Ithaca music community. While the details of this artist residency have not yet been finalized, I look forward to providing this performance/teaching package during the first week of October 2011, and I am greatly pleased and humbled to be the recipient of this distinctive honor!

Having previously served as a voice and vocal jazz professor at several universities and colleges, and now a full-time touring/recording artist, I feel particularly qualified for artist residency work. I have loved teaching music since the first day I attempted it. I also have personally experienced the joy and wonder of bein…

Thoughts about 'Jazz Seasons'

I am blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love, to share my gifts with others, and to have an outlet like music to express what cannot be otherwise expressed... 'Jazz Seasons' is my latest cabaret show which I'm sharing with my friends and fans in New York City this weekend. It encompasses many things--first, a celebration of seasonal songs from a variety of sources--my originals, classic jazz and musical theater. We'll have jazz waltzes, swing tunes, standards delivered in a bebop style, bossa nova and samba, and the classic ballad. There will be songs that guide the listener through life's seasons--youth, pain, joy, grief... and even a tribute to the one and only singer/poet/lyricist/activist Abbey Lincoln, whom we lost in August. Since Autumn is Cabaret Season, I can't think of a better show to attend!

This presentation also marks my first one-woman cabaret show. I'll be singing from behind the piano (on most songs). I have performed this…


Where does it come from? How does one channel it? My bursts of writing "inspiration" have been sporadic in recent years due to the fact that I just haven't made myself available to do it as often as I would like to. Last night I was bitten by the writing bug and wrote out three new original songs in their entirety, and nearly finished a fourth which still needs a bit more work. Granted, it all happened in the middle of the night, which is when Mozart (and many other composers) historically found the best time to work--no distractions, everyone else is asleep, and being slightly tired can be a major help in finding the "zone"... Yes, songwriters may be sacrificing their sleep but if that's when the music comes, who are we to argue? I am thankful to have something to create and contribute as I plod or skip along my pathway in life (whichever mode of locomotion it may be on a given day).

Now that I have all these new songs (I already had several others …

The Challenging Life of the Performer

Jazz Seasons is my newest show compiled of my original songs and others from the Great American Songbook, musical theatre repertoire and contemporary jazz. Woven throughout the selection of music one finds a seasonal theme--not just that of the four seasons, but also of life's seasons. From time to time we discover we are passing through a season of joy or perhaps a season of grief. We are blessed to accept a season of growth, but often loath to face a season of pain. This show gently and joyfully takes us through a variety of seasons and helps to show how the songwriters and lyricists of past and present wrote songs reflective of those inevitable passages we all face.

While preparing this show I found myself suddenly thrust into an unexpected season of grief and pain, so several of the songs originally planned had to be replaced by others as an act of consideration for myself. Instead of grieving I had to perform, so given that there was a limit to my ability to compartmenta…

July/August Tour 2010

It was a wonderful whirlwind of singing and traveling...exhausting perhaps, but very worthwhile. I began on July 25 at Feinstein's in New York--superstar Michael Feinstein's elite Park Avenue nightclub where every singer in the world (it seems) dreams of performing. This experience was all it was cracked up to be! I was there in an absolutely gorgeous Kay Unger gown performing with Grammy-winning jazz pianist, Bill Cunliffe. We were premiering "The Peggy Lee Songbook," a celebration of the songwriting talents of iconic singer Peggy Lee. The audience was very receptive and appreciative and I will treasure the memory always... The best part? Getting asked back by the club's manager before the gig, after only hearing our sound check! Here is what fellow cabaret singer and writer Jenna Esposito had to say about the show on

Far too early the next morning I boarded a plane for Los Angeles where I spent two sunny days in Redondo Beach. I ador…


I love being what some refer to as a "crossover artist." All it really means is that you are good at more than one thing: you excel as a singer in multiple genres. Being one such type of performer gives me the opportunity to stretch different vocal mechanism muscles (really!), hone my precision and technique, challenge myself musically and intellectually, and keep from being bored singing in one style. The main thing I keep in mind is that I strive to be an expert in whatever style I'm singing, rather than dwelling on the "C" word ("crossover"). I sing "classical" or "legit" soprano repertoire (baroque and contemporary art music mostly, but also classic and romantic period material in 6 languages) from the standpoint of being a specialist in those genres rather than as a jazz singer dabbling in crossover. Likewise, I sing jazz from the perspective of a specialist in that genre, calling to mind the greats who have gone before …

Dick Robinson's "American Standards By the Sea"

I was honored today to receive an email informing me that my CD will be featured over this weekend (June 25-27) on Dick Robinson's internationally-syndicated radio show, "American Standards By the Sea." I went to their website today and was delighted to hear a show dedicated to my favorite singer, the late Ella Fitzgerald. Ella was featured with Duke Ellington's band, in a duet with Stevie Wonder (which took my breath away) and in a number of other settings. She is always so refreshing and restores to me the wonderful state of mind that excellent music has always brought to's mesmerizing and so very fulfilling to hear that kind of musical and poetic perfection.

Anyhow, I was struck by the reality that I am now one of the torch-bearers for this increasingly-important-to-preserve Great American Songbook. I'm a contemporary musician who has selected this genre in which to grow and develop, both as an artist and a songwriter. I am humbled and thankful…

Jazz Master Class at Syracuse University

April 15 I conducted a master class for jazz students and voice majors
at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music in conjunction with a
concert I performed on April 18: "Tish Oney--The Peggy Lee Project"
featuring esteemed guitarist John Chiodini. Having directed
collegiate-level vocal jazz ensembles for a number of years, I most
often am asked to provide coaching for an entire collective group at
once. However, since the SU Vocal Jazz Ensemble (directed by pianist Bill DiCosimo) had already completed
its final concert of the school year, I instead offered a soloist's
master class and worked with individual students in the jazz combo
setting (accompanied by piano, bass and drums). We focused on jazz
stylization, interpretation, mic technique, improvisation and whatever
else I felt the students needed in the short twelve minutes I had with
each. Most of these students had almost never worked one-on-one with a
microphone, which was a surprise to me--with shrinking…