Carmen Bradford returned to her birthplace to perform with Austin Women in Jazz in October 1996. She also led a Singers' Performance Workshop session during the concert series.
Carmen Bradford was raised in Altadena, California and studied classical music at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas. She has worked on performance and recording projects with the likes of James Brown, Lou Rawls, Willie Nelson, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock, and many others.
In the early eighties, Carmen was heard by the great Count Basie and hired as the vocalist with his world renowned Orchestra. After performing on two Grammy award winning albums for Basie, guitarist George Bensen heard Carmen and asked if she would perform a duet on his 1991 recording titled Big Boss Band. The son was How Do You Keep The Music Playing?, another Grammy award winner!
After nine years of touring as a feature with the Basie Band, Carmen embarked on her solo career with resounding success. Finally Yours (Evidence Records), her critically acclaimed first album, began another chapter in her illustrious career in 1992. Her 1995 album, With Respect (Evidence Records), established the Los Angeles based singer as one of the decade's most exciting vocal stylist.
Making more history, Carmen teamed with singer Kenny Rankin for Benny Carter's Songbook Project. What An Honor! she screamed as she looked around the room at the many faces of music history, Joe Williams, Ruth Brown, Bobby Short, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Jon Hendricks, Dianna Krall, Dianne Reeves and many more. Carmen was chosen to sing in the great Key Largo for the Grammy award winning album, The Benny Carter Song Book.