New York City native Judy Chamberlain began singing professionally at the age of 13, shuttling between Manhattan and Coastal Connecticut to work with and learn from musicians who had honed their skills during the early days of jazz, swing and rock n’ roll. Moving to California in 1980, she brought the spirit of dinner dances at The Plaza Hotel along with her.
During a three-decade career on the West Coast she led her all-star band, produced offsite concerts for Pacific Public Radio’s K-JAZZ FM and was a busy music director who put top talent into legendary Southern California hotels, jazz clubs and restaurants. Along the way, she also wrote restaurant and travel features, along with sassy op-ed columns for a daily newspaper. Her “Dining With Judy” series on Newport Beach radio station K-OCEAN FM was well-known to Orange County foodies, as were the “Savoir Fare” segments on The Orange County News Channel that her camera crew called “Judy’s Hair.”
Named “one of the top jazz singers of all time” by author Scott Yanow, Chamberlain has garnered praise for bringing out the best in her extraordinary musicians, playing to their various strengths. It helps that, as former L.A. Times jazz critic Don Heckman has said, “she knows more songs than anyone who has ever lived.”
An avid music historian, Judy also knows well of what she sings. Guests at weddings and parties have often said they feel as if they’re hearing the lyrics for the first time.