Born: June 24 Primary Instrument: Piano
Christine is the Winner of the USA Songwriting Competition/Jazz Category and is a pianist,singer-songwriter whose N.Y. group performs her vibrant, multi-faceted vocal and instrumental material that fuses styles and rhythms of Brazilian/Latin with pop and jazz.
Christine and her group performed live on NPR WAMC 90.3 FM, Albany on Performance Place Music of Our Time to promote their new CD, My Spanish Dream, a rich Brazilian/Latin/World fusion offering that dances blithely between jazz and pop. Diverse and daring, it highlights Spero’s love for lush vocal harmonies, something she’s been enthralled with her entire career.
The Christine Spero Group was one of the headliners at The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz in July 2006 and will be returning in the summer of 2008. They performed with Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Charlie Daniels Band at Harborfest in Oswego, New York in July 2007. They have opened for such notables as: Kim Waters, Walter Beasley, Ray Vega, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Bobby Matos, Clark Terry, Mike Phillips (from Prince), pop icon of the 60's and 70's-Melanie, and Andrea Brachfield. Christine has performed on Time Warner Cable's Poughkeepsie LIVE! and has been written about in USA Today, Billboard, Jazz Times, Keyboard and Recording Magazines, ASCAP Playback.
The December issue of Recording Magazine featured Christine in their Artist Profile. She is the Winner of the USA Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category for her song, He Wasn't Always That Way and Finalist with Caribbean Nights. Her piece Therapy has been published by Wild Whirled Music for use in film and television. The group was a semi-finalist in the Discmakers Northeast 2006 Independent Music World Series.
Each one of Christine's pieces is a unique vehicle for creative improvisation. Add to that her evocative, soulful singing and you've got a smooth runway for the piano, saxophone, bass, drums and percussion to take off!
Christine is the Swedish/American granddaughter of classical pianists. She recorded her first songs on RCA as a teen, then moved from New York to San Francisco to further study music and botany. She was a member of Bob Braye's Peace and Rhythm Unit. Her eclectic and personal style of composing was influenced by many classical and jazz musicians. She has performed with her own quartets and sextets over the years and now lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she continues to write, record, and perform with her band.
Saxophonist, percussionist and producer Elliot Spero founded his own ensembles in San Francisco and opened for Bobby McFarrin in the Bay Area. He engineered and produced Christine's CD's, We Call It Music and My Spanish Dream and owns a recording studio in New York.
Currently our rhythm section is: Cuban drummer T. Xiques-(Savoy Brown, Mike Maineri, Larry Coryell, Jewel,Garth Hudson, Robbie Dupree) and bassist, Charlie Kniceley who has played with Ron Carter, Joe Beck, Jack DeJohnette, Warren Berhardt and bassist, Scott Petito (James and Livingston Taylor, Michael Franks, Stevie Wonder).
The Christine Spero Group has brought some great new original music to Latin/World music. Many thanks for the opportunity to play and review this album. Helen Jarroe Cairns FM89.1 Australia
My Spanish Dream is just that. This is a rich Brazilian/latin/World fusion that makes the A list from the very first track. Christine Spero has exceptional writing skills and a voice to match. Gloriously groovy arrangements full of wonderful textures, imagination, and musicality. Spero's song He Wasn't Always That Way won the jazz category of the USA songwriting Competition in 2004; and Caribbean Nights, one my favourites on this album, was a finalist in 2002. Spero is brilliantly supported by Elliot Spero's sax & percussion with Mike Woinoski on bass and drummer Jody Sumber. Produced by Elliot Spero this second album clearly announces a new talent. Already headlining Festivals and performing with Blood Sweat & Tears and Charlie Daniels in 2007, The Christine Spero Trio is set to go far. So let The Festival begin!! Helen Simons The JazzXpress Caravan 94.1FM Jazz Radio Gold Coast Queensland Australia
Dynamic vocals. Christine's writing abilities are very evident throughout this musical project. What a musical festival! Leon Reyes KVMR 89.5 FM Nevada City/Sacramento Ca Host: Leon's Jazz In A Box
Fantastic Album. Great stuff for our Radio Station. Alex Pijnen/BRTO Radio-The Netherlands
We really love this stunning cooking sophisticated Jazz. Christine's style is powerful, evocative and very subtle. The choice of material backed up with a cooking band is marvelous and gels together into a big sound tinged with a wonderful Latin Groove that has you wanting more and our audiences most certainly will love your sound. This is a CD made to be heard, in fact, demands to be heard for it's infectious groove has one wanting to dance and party. It certainly struck us as one extraordinary CD and one that will be very well received by our astute audience. Peter Merrett- Music manager for PBS FM 106-7 Melbourne, Australia (one of the country's leading music stations.) Our station has over 400,000 listeners per week and over 6 million hits per month on our web site.
A wonderful recording and I have no hesitation in adding it to my current play list. Dick Hughes-Jazz Action Productions/Sydney, Australia
The charactor of the music style presented gives this CD a unique feel, with an individual personality presented inside it's contents. Great work! Graham J Barclay/Soundwave FM-New Zealand
Skopje, Macedonia- Excellent material! I am interested to present more in the future. Vasja Ivanovski Jazz Spaces
A truly wonderful CD that I'm looking forward to reviewing! Serge Kozlovsky-Minsk/Belarus
Fresh and relaxing singing with a latin touch.-Pascal Dorban Radio ARA, Luxembourg
I like the cd very much. It is so very interesting and of great quality and very advisable for lovers of good music. JOSEP PALMADA RED HOT BLUES RADIO VILAFANT SPAIN
Great work on this disc full of wonderful song's and music. One to be proud of. George Young country club productions pty ltd
What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. Keep up the good work and please keep us up to date with your progress. Michael Criddle OzRadio (President Radio Triple H-FM)
My Spanish Dream is one of six featured jazz albums in Japan on: www.garagebandjapan.com
Ison TV/Radio in NewCastle, Australia(www.isonliveradio.com) has been playing our last CD, We Call It Music for more than a year.
Pianist and vocalist Christine Spero launches her new release of exciting Latin jazz grooves that blend Brazilian and pop rhythms producing an intoxicating and vibrant sound guaranteed to shake the shoulders and move the hips. “My Spanish Dream,” delivers nine original songs with catchy melodies and rich harmonies that will have you hitting the re-play button often.
Hailing from Tannersville, New York, Christine Spero has for years performed with her quartet and has one previous recording to her credit (“We Call It Music” 2002). On this recording she is joined by her core group consisting of Elliot Spero (tenor, soprano sax and percussions), Mike Woinoski (bass) and Jody Sumber (drums). Others appearing on the recording include Rich DeCrosta (trumpet) on “Therapy,” husband Buck Spero (bass) and Curtis Watts (drums) on “Therapy”,“The Festival” and “I Remember.”
Starting off with the title track, Spero sets the tone with her lush vocals and piano chops on this airy and spacious number. The second cut, “Don’t Say No,” says yes all the way with a terrific percussive beat and appreciable scatting from the singer.
The music only gets better with the incredible Latin rhythms of “Caribbean Nights,” unquestionably the best composition here. Spero’s vocals on this one is upstaged by her sizzling piano performance that continues to play over and over in one’s brain sort of like when you have a tune you just cannot get out of your head.
The tune “Just So You Know,” is maybe the sole pop flavored number here. The Brazilian flavored “The Festival,” rivals “Caribbean Nights,” as one of the best scores here featuring perhaps the finest vocals and a nice run on the synthesizer from Christine.
Elliot Spero takes center stage on the only instrumental piece “Raiisha,” with an excellent journey on the sax. Except for a verse of wordless vocals, “Therapy,” is largely another instrumental piece featuring an augmented cast. The album ends with another bossa-shaded number in “I Remember,” showcasing Elliot’s torrid sax solo and climaxing one heck of a session.
-- Edward Blanco- Ejazznews
"We Call It Music" 2001 The Christine Spero Group
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