Born: August 18, 1955 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Laurie Krauz thrills audiences with her award-winning, blues-influenced jazz vocals and her powerful emotional range. Blazing new musical territory, Laurie combines improvisational elements with the passion and sensuality found in other forms of music to create a unique, soulful jazz -- she creates a mood and weaves a musical story with every cell of her being. Named one of the top 525 jazz vocalists of all time in a book by noted jazz critic, Scott Yanow, slated to be published in 2008 (tentatively entitled The Jazz Singers/Backbeat Books), Laurie released her first CD, Catch Me If You Can (LML Records) in 2001 to much critical acclaim.
Along with The Daryl Kojak Trio, Catch Me If You Can features jazz legend George Coleman on tenor sax and has been receiving accolades throughout the jazz world (Jazz aficionados should welcome this impressive debut album from a singer who will certainly be making her mark on the jazz scene for years to come. -- Michael Laprarie, JazzReview.com). Catch Me If You Can has enjoyed substantial national airplay (including featured airplay in New York on world-renowned WBGO) as well as forays into select international markets (including The Netherlands, Russia and Brazil).
Laurie has performed live with a number of jazz luminaries including George Coleman, Harold Mabern, Cameron Brown and Warren Vaché and has appeared at such legendary venues and events as JVC Jazz Festival, The Blue Note, Iridium and Birdland. Her work has received frequent rave reviews including The New York Daily News (... the scat's meow. -- W. Wong) and Time Out Magazine (You won't believe your ears, this jazz singer's velvety voice is a wonder to behold. -- H.S. Jolley). Live radio performances and interviews have included: Jim Lowe & Friends (syndicated nationally); David Kenney's Everything Old Is New Again (WBAI-FM, New York); and Jeff Duperon's Straight Ahead (WRTI, Philadelphia). Laurie has participated in a number of commercial projects including: a singing appearance on The Cosby Show; solo vocals on Good Night Blue, a CD released by the Nickelodeon TV program Blues Clues; and various television and radio jingles and videos. In June 2000, her life was chronicled as the cover story for Cabaret Scenes Magazine (Getting Off The Fast Track by Peter Leavy).
Laurie Krauz' musical career began with piano lessons at the age of 5. When, several years later, her beloved teacher suddenly passed away, Laurie chose not to continue and did not return to music until many years later. Although she included music in her coursework at The Pennsylvania State University (1976, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), her early career took her from Medical Social Work to the world of Finance and studies toward an MBA at New York University. In 1980, while working on Wall Street, Laurie took a singing course as a lark and her career indecision ceased -- she had found her home in music. Three years later, after voice and music studies with Ellie Ellsworth (The Actor's Institute), Ron Panvini, Marianne Challis and Susan Slavin, Laurie became possibly the first bank officer to trade in her key to the executive washroom to perform in summer stock.
In 1986, having traveled the U.S. and Canada for several years in musical theatre, Laurie was cast in a four-part harmony swing ensemble and discovered the thrill of improvisation (her epiphany). She segued from musical theatre to her work as a jazz vocalist. Since then, she has expanded her musical studies with course work at New School University in New York City and private coachings. Over the years, her teachers have included Mark Murphy, Daryl Kojak, Carla White, Woody Mann, Stephen Tarshis and Jay Bianchi. Over the past few years, to the delight of her audiences as well as other artists seeking new material, Laurie has put lyrics to a number of compositions by her long-time collaborator, Daryl Kojak.
In 2007 Laurie was named best Female Jazz Vocalist by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC). In 2004 she received Honorable Mention in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Vocal Competition and was a quarterfinalist in The Savannah Music Festival American Traditions Competition. In 1997, she was awarded a Bistro Award by Back Stage Magazine. Laurie is a voting member of NARAS (The Grammy Awards).
“...she immediately impresses with her ample vocal presence and poise.... This stands as an impressive debut disc for Laurie Krauz.” Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence
“Krauz possesses a voice of remarkable range and dynamics. She is also a talented improviser who has a remarkable understanding of the jazz language. She imitates a muted trumpet on Kojak’s original “Ducksoup” with a remarkable attention to not only the sound but also the phrasing and breath of a jazz instrumentalist. In contrast to current jazz singing sweetheart Diana Krall, Laurie Krauz is not an introspective or wispy balladeer. When she is ready, Krauz comes straight at you with both barrels blazing, her voice moving from a whisper to a joyous howl within the space of a bar. Jazz aficionados should welcome this impressive debut album from a singer who will certainly be making her mark on the jazz scene for years to come.” Michael Laprarie, JazzReview.com
“Laurie Krauz is a bright new jazz singer with a strong and flexible voice, the ability to improvise at all tempos and a sensitive style that pays attention to the meaning of the words she interprets.” Four Stars. Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
“Catch Me If You Can” is a real Jazz Fan’s album. It has all the atmosphere and personality of sitting at a table ten feet away from the stage and soaking up the quite unique technique that Laurie conjures up for us.... [T]his explicit and improvised style is like a chef adding just the right amount of ingredients to taste but not to overwhelm the diner.” Wes Gillespie, EuroClubdeJazz
“Vocal and style comparisons to icons such as Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Annie Ross are inevitable as Krauz often seems to be channeling them while putting her own unique stamp on the material.... [A]nd her amazing recreation of a muted trumpet on “Ducksoup,” ... is worth the price of the CD. (Note - it wasn’t until the third playing that I realized it wasn’t a trumpet!)” David Hurst, Show Business
“Her offering of the Mendes/Bergman bossa, So Many Stars was a veritable tour de force. She’s obviously a seasoned pro.... Krauz focuses on her songs with a strong musical sense thus enhancing their beauty. Send me some tickets Laurie and break a leg girl!” George W. Carroll/The Musicians’ Ombudsman, ejazznews.com
“... throbbing and colorful and delightfully unpredictable ...” David Finkle, Back Stage
“You won’t believe your ears -- this jazz singer’s velvety voice is a wonder to behold.” (Critic’s Picks) H. Scott Jolley, Time Out New York
“... Krauz offers a lovely and liquidy voice that pours out of her like fine wine. Her lower register is especially worth drinking in.... [W]hen Krauz and Kojak jazz up the joint, they’re the scat’s meow.” Wayman Wong, New York Daily News
“Laurie Krauz is an entertaining singer who is certain to leave her mark in the world of jazz singers.” Bob Agnew, L.A. Jazz Scene
Laurie Krauz is one of the rarissimo elite singers group that nourishes the world of Jazz with human warmth, depth and mesmerizing film noire aura. She is powerful, intoxicating with her sparkling talent like a well-aged Napoleon cognac, yet, down to earth with depth, a captivating stage presence which teases you, challenges you and, charms the hell out of you. This is an intelligent, elegantly stylish and warm super singer. Maximillien de Lafayette, New York Monthly Herald
“A strikingly balanced performer, she can be audacious, mellow or tingly ... her voice and body work as one instrument joining our ears to her breath and our eyes to her performance” Rajene Hardeman, Talent In Motion Magazine
“A versatile jazz vocalist who can be bright and breezy or hot and steamy. Her on air performance started an in studio ‘heat wave.’” David Kenney, WBAI-FM
“... a jazz instrument in human guise.” Peter Leavy, Cabaret Scenes
“Krauz’ smooth, made-for-jazz voice has the range and versatility of a fully-staffed choir/orchestra (the lady can scat so well you’re looking around to determine what instrument made that sound), and Kojak turns any piano into a symphony. Together they are incredible, transforming standards like My Foolish Heart, Cry Me A River, and Love Is Here To Stay into true works of art. Some Kojak originals are included in the program, my favorite being Right Angle. ... Krauz & Kojak are what jazz is all about, bringing to fruition a songwriter’s inspiration and passion.” Laurie Lawson, electroniclink.com
“And the Daryl Kojak Trio do more than lend terrific instrumental support: their arrangements and playing are at one with the singer’s vision, making the evening a four-person musical journey, with Krauz in full command -- of both her artistry and her audience.” Roy Sander, citysearch.com
“... if a singer who can become an instrument of bebop is your thing, check out Laurie Krauz....” Lesley Alexander, WRTN-FM/WVOX-AM