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At our next concert (June 8, 2014):
Music from swing to soul: O'Connor & Lanham is a male-female vocal duo that brings a fresh sound and an entertaining face to classic jazz, swing, and rhythm-and-blues.
When Jeanne O’Connor and Richard Lanham sing together, you’ll hear traces of the great recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, the jumping sounds of the early Nat King Cole Trio and Louis Jordan’s Timpani Five, and the classic soul of Smoky Robinson and Curtis Mayfield. And, you’ll hear original arrangements that draw on the best of modern jazz.
Jeanne and Richard were thrown together by chance on a big band gig in the NYC metro area some years ago. They enjoyed each other’s musical company so much that they began to rehearse and explore great vocal jazz duos of the past, as well as classic R&B and soul artists. Since then, Lanham and O’Connor have brought their unique blend to some of New York’s most elegant nightspots, including ”21,” Chanterelle, the Four Seasons, the Rainbow Room, and the restaurant Daniel. Richard and Jeanne have entertained at events for clients such as Fortune magazine, Saks Fifth Avenue, and FIT. They have performed at the Museum Mile festival, the Greenport Music Festival, the 34th Street Partnership music series, the Frick, and the Museum of Modern Art. And, they have done studio vocals for various arrangers and songwriters.
Jeanne O’Connor moved to Saratoga Springs some 10 years ago, having spent much of her musical career in New York City. Since then, she has appeared at the legendary Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, Justin’s jazz club in Albany, Upbeat on the Roof at Skidmore College, “A Place for Jazz” concert series in Schenectady, Jazz on Jay, and the Saratoga Arts Festival.
In New York City, Jeanne has appeared at New York's Blue Note, Elaine's, Sweet Rhythm, the Rainbow Room, Smoke, and many other jazz clubs. Jeanne was a featured vocalist on opening night of "Midsummer Night's Swing" at Lincoln Center, sharing the stage with Nicholas Payton. She did a six-week run at the Guggenheim Museum as part of its "Worldbeat Jazz" series. Jeanne is also a founding member of the renowned “String of Pearls” female jazz vocal trio. With the “Pearls,“ Jeanne has appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Cape Cod Jazz Festival, the Provincetown Jazz Festival, and in clubs and concert halls in France, Germany, and Japan.
Richard Lanham is a remarkable singer who has mastered a wealth of musical styles, from doo-wop to rhythm-and-blues to smooth, swinging jazz. While still a youth, Richard appeared on American Bandstand and at the Apollo Theater with the Tempo Tones, a doo-wop group. He went on to sing with the King Curtis band, as well as jazz greats Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers. He began to tour the U.S. and Europe with variety shows such as the Harlem Parade. Richard eventually joined the world-famous Drifters, an engagement that lasted two years. In his varied career, Richard has appeared in concerts, nightclubs and festivals with groups and artists including Howard Johnson, Bross Townsend, Bernard Purdie, Chico Freeman, and the HardBop Quintet. The Washington Post has called him “a fantastic singer,” while the Village Voice has praised his “jazzy and romantic stylings,” and his “smooth and dynamic showmanship.”
At the Swingtime concert on June 8, Jeanne and Richard will be accompanied by Peg Delaney on piano, Pete Sweeney on drums, and Mike Lawrence on bass.