Born: August 28 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Ciofalo’s repertoire ranges from such diverse sources as bluesman John Lee Hooker to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway. Her voice can be both hard-hitting and gutsy, or lend itself to pure romance.
At an early age she was accepted to New York’s High School of Music and Art but due to parental disapproval of her musical aspirations, she was not allowed to attend. Subsequently, in later years she attended evening classes for classical vocal technique and musical theater at Julliard.
Inspired by a televised performance of Sarah Vaughn, Ciofalo’s interest in vocal jazz was peaked and in the mid-80s she auditioned among 300 singers and garnered the featured vocalist spot in a big band jazz orchestra. This led to a career as a club date singer performing with New York society orchestras at private parties, corporate functions and political fund raisers.
In 1999, wanting to lead her own band and develop her love for jazz, she recorded a CD of standards, jazz-pop and original works. This CD, entitled Take the High Road, took a life of it’s own and brought her to the attention of many New York jazz fans in addition to receiving world-wide airplay. It also led to performances at major New York clubs such as the Blue Note, Iridium, the 55 Bar, Old Westbury Gardens and the Long Island Distinguished Artists series. In addition she has shared the stage with Jazz legends, vocalist, Mark Murphy and guitarist, Les Paul. Recently she was recruited by the Lincoln Center Institute as a music teaching artist, working in the New York State public school system, and is the head of the jazz vocal program for the Cultural Arts High School on Long Island.
Ciofalo has just completed her second CD, Sun Set to be released in late summer. While Take The High Road helped introduce Linda Ciofalo’s singing to listeners far beyond the New York city limits, Sun Set really displays her versatility and diverse musical style. Joined by an all-star band of top-rated New York musicians, including pianist John DiMartino; bassist Marcus McLaurine, drummer Matt Wilson; guitarist, John Hart and saxophonist Joel Frahm,she sings a wide variety of material including inventive versions of Stevie Wonder’s Blame It On The Sun, Here Comes The Sun, Comes Love, Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and the standard Midnight Sun plus duet pieces in which she interacts separately with drums, bass and piano.
Throughout this outing, Linda shows that she can sing virtually anything and make it her own while adding a jazz sensibility and her own subtle creativity.Since my first CD, I have continued to evolve. I dig a lot deeper into lyrics now than I did earlier. Of course I’ve lived longer, seen more and have sung a lot more so it makes me want to give more to the listeners. For the future I have a lot of ideas that I want to get out on future recordings including a Johnny Mercer project, and I definitely want to tour.
The release of Sun Set will certainly increase Linda Ciofalo’s fame and result in her gaining the recognition she deserves as one of the finest jazz singers around.
...she is blessed with a voice as warm, bright and shimmering as a smog-free country morning. Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes.
Matt Wilson, the drummer on the CD, suggested that I would like Ciofalo. I do. She is adventurous, but not to the point of disrespecting the material. She sings in tune, uses time play in her phrasing without losing rhythmic consistency and has a light, creamy voice that now and then drops to surprising depth. She is willing to take risks--for instance, singing with only drums or bass--and makes it clear that she enjoys what she does. Ciofalo is as convincing with a Beatles song as one by Gershwin or Rodgers. The band, John di Martino (p.), John Hart (g.), Joel Frahm (t.s.), Marcus McLaurine (b.) and Wilson (dr.), is splendid.... Doug Ramsey, Rifftides - Arts Journal
Here’s a great chance-taking vocalist bound to please many of you who are looking for someone who is most original. You will never forget her take on “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” (Rodgers/Hammerstein). It’s absolutely spectacular. Dan Singer, In Tune International
For her newly released theme album Sun Set (Lucky Jazz Music) Linda Ciofalo selected tunes that explore heat,times of day,weather light and other sunny topics. What her choices demonstrate, first , is how manygreat songs the sun has inspired and second,that gravitas isn't necessary to create serious music. Ciofalo is a sophisticated singer and her voice carries a smile it's a winning combination. Suzanne Lorge, AllAboutJazz, N.Y.
Ciofalo shows off her talent from start to finish. The CD bears more than one listening to discover all of its pleasurable dimensions. more Marcia Hillman, AllAboutJazz, N.Y.
Linda Ciofalo is a first class act Gino Moratti,The Kitano N.Y.C.
Vocalist LINDA CIOFALO has a sound that is crystal clear, and a musicality that brings you into her performance like a moth is drawn to a flame. more Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz
Calling Ciofalo a talent deserving more recognition would be an understatement and anybody who is waiting to discover another great female vocalist should check out this album! more Dan Bilawsky, Jazz Improv Magazine
Ciofalo is clearly the star of this show, but the sidemen get plenty to work with. Whether in the background or performing a solo, each musician contributes significantly, striking a perfect balance between vocals and instruments. And it’s all done with a love for the art and a sunny outlook. more Woodrow Wilkins, AllAbout Jazz
Linda Ciofalo has a voice that reaches out and grabs you. You just have to pay attention. Her vocal talent is among the best heard today. She is one of the few new musicians who can transfer the passion and emotion of their craft to the listener. She is truly an instrument on her own. My guess is that she would sound equally great without a band. more Michael Perry, Jazzreview .com
I’ll bet she’ll soon be one of the bright stars in the jazz sky. more Andrea Canter, Jazz Police
“Ciofalo is a sophisticated singer and her voice carries a smile. It’s a winning combination.” All About Jazz NY
The release of Sun Set will certainly result in Linda Ciofalo’s gaining the recognition she deserves as one of the finest jazz singers around. Scott Yanow, music critic www.ScottYanow.com
Do You want a new sweetheart? Then go for Linda Ciofalo....In this cd she just twines around your heart! Mark Murphy, Vocal Jazz Legend
Oh what a beautiful voice! Oh what a beautiful person!…Joan Roberts (the American actress who created the role of Laurey Williams in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma!)
Cool songs sung cool-ly Michael Bourne, Singers Unlimited, WBGO
Linda Ciofalo A spirited singer with a bright , flexible voice and a firm grasp of bop and blues. Linda Ciofalo has shared the stage with the likes of Mark Murphy and Les Paul. Time Out NY
...Linda Ciofalo has a beautiful instrument with great intonation - I like this CD very much! Jazz trumpeter, Clark Terry
Linda Ciofalo has a voice that shares beautiful sound imagery with the listeners and this CD belongs in the home library of everyone who enjoys great Jazz Vocals. (5 Stars) Lee Prosser, Jazzreview.com
Linda Ciofalo is an absolute bundle of joy - wait 'til you hear her sing ...you're in heaven! Mark Murphy, jazz vocalist
She sings with a skip in her step and a raucous Mae West Style delivery on the blues and turns tender on theballads. She has a wide vocal range and projects with gusto and sultry appeal. Frank Rubilino, Cadence Magazine
Willing to teach:
Private Instruction Vocal technique Specialist in preparation for NYSSMA and college auditions Adult ed vocal clinics for info email LCUL8R@aol.com or Linda@LindaCiofalo.com Vocal Jazz Department Long Island High School of the Arts Music Teaching Artist Tilles Center Arts Education grades Pre K-HS Member of National Association of Teachers of Singing Julliard School,Molloy College
Jazz Workshops,Vocal technique,Improv Clinics are tailored according to age group