Tuesday, June 29, 2010

PianoSoft Behind the Scenes: Judy, Judy, Judy!

Our resident PianoSoft insider, Cathy, is back with a profile of one of Yamaha's many wonderful PianoSoft artists, Judy Roberts.

I first met Judy Roberts somewhere around 1980 when she was a judge at the Yamaha Electone Festival. She was introduced to all of us as a great jazz pianist from Chicago, and she is certainly all that and more. The Chicago Tribune calls her "Chicago’s Favorite Jazz Woman" and she is known from Chicago to Singapore for her swinging, sensitive playing and sultry vocals.

As I write this, Judy is finishing a tour in Chicago and soon will be heading back to her new home base in Phoenix, Arizona where she performs frequently at popular venues. While in Chicago, she gave an interview and performed on ABC 7 News - you can check out the interview and performance here. Turn up your speakers to hear her play and sing!

Judy credits her late father with her early musical training. On Father’s Day, she wrote this on her Facebook page:

Happy Fathers Day! "Thank you" to my late-great Dad, guitarist/singer/arranger Bob Loewy, for teaching me hundreds of songs by the time I was eight, and making all of it such loving fun. What a wonderful father---you are always in my music and in my heart.

She and her Dad recorded a wonderful album together entitled, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." You can check out all of her great CDs at her website.

There was no such thing as PianoSoft when we first met but Judy continued to judge the Electone festival and make instructional videos so fortunately, we stayed connected.

When we started building a PianoSoft library, Judy was one of the first people we invited to play. Lucky for us, she said yes and recorded her first PianoSoft collection called "Judy Roberts – The Richard Rodgers Songbook". Since then, she has made three PianoSoft Plus Audio CDs including a collaboration with her husband, and saxophonist extraordinaire, Greg Fishman.

On a personal note, I love the way she says my name, "Caaaathy", with at least one extra syllable. She is a musician’s musician, a sweet, unassuming person and a PianoSoft treasure.

- Cathy