You've heard of success. Gretchen Parlato's is ridiculous! Seriously, this young (mid-30's) talent has had one blessed event after another in her short life. And it actually started before she was born.
Grandfather Charlie Parlato played trumpet for the Kay Kyser Big Band - and both played and sang for Tennessee Ernie Ford and Lawrence Welk. Dad - Dave Parlato - played bass for Frank Zappa. And he also worked for Al Jarreau, Barbra Streisand, Henry Mancini and other household names.
Gretchen had no choice - did she?! After her Ethnomusicology/Jazz Studies degree from UCLA, she was accepted as the first vocalist into the uber prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute in 2001. The panel of judges who decided: Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter. In 2003, she moved to New York. The next year, she WON the Monk International Vocal Competition! 2005 saw the release of her self-titled album, that received five stars in Downbeat's Blindfold Test. Gretchen will explain :)
The Documentary Channel features our Valley Girl (GP's words) in its four-part series, "Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense." It gets better - Billboard Magazine named her "In a Dream" CD the most alluring Jazz vocal album of 2009 (THEIR words!)
In between years, mind you, Gretchen was singing on projects by other artists - and selling OUT venues wherever she went. By the time 2011 rolled around - and "The Lost and Found" was in the public ear - she had acquired Top 10 status for her project by over 30 major radio stations, publications, and internet polls in both the U.S. and Europe.
This is amazing stuff, ladies and gentlemen - and you need to hear what a legend-in-the-making has to say. On Thursday, you WILL. Gretchen Parlato joins us at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.
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