Can you tell us about your new album to be released on 10th May?

It’s a live album, recorded in Europe’s premiere jazz room-Marians, Bern, Switzerland, January of this year. I love the energy of live records, so when I was asked to play there, I decided to record all 11 performances. It’s a mixture of songs from my last album-‘Come on And Get It’, (which celebrates the unapologetic and oft unsung trailblazing women of 40’s/50’s jazz &blues), and some personal favorites by jazz, blues, and gospel artists who were an inspiration and beacon growing up- Aretha, Ella, Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Jordan, Jobim. It features my incredible NOLA band and allows me to be the “band-leader”, and to return to my first love- piano on a few of the tracks.

What other projects are you currently involved with?

I’m planning to record a Big Band album later this year, and have a very classical, operatic project that I’m finishing up- it’s an ambitious production, and has taken me a few years to create, compose, and record…it feels like my life’s work. Actually, I’m in a very rare place right now, where my jazz and classical “worlds” are working in tandem and feel completely balanced

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I’m currently obsessed with big band recordings- particularly Sinatra’s with Nelson Riddle arranging, so I just downloaded Sinatra-The Capitol Years. Listening to those arrangements I always gives me goose-bumps. I’m introducing so many young players to these classic recordings who have that same reaction… it’s an art form at its finest.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

That’s like asking a mother “who’s your favorite child”, (or in my case dog!) But if I were pushed, I’d say Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ is up there., along with Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, Aretha, and Rachmaninov It’s seminal, plus the man who recorded it-John Fischbach, became my Long-time friend and co-producer, so it’s very special to me on many levels.

Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?

I just saw a wonderful artist called Grace Gibson here in New Orleans and she’s a beautiful mixture of song-writer, wailing funkster and badass musician-check her out!