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Claudia Schmidt

Claudia SchmidtMichigan native Claudia Schmidt has covered a lot of musical ground since beginning with a stirring rendition of "Tammy" at age four around a neighborhood bonfire.

Over 30 years as a touring professional have found Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She is familiar with the mediums of radio and TV, including regular stints on Public Radio International's "A Prairie Home Companion" in its early incarnation, and starring in an hour-long documentary called "I Sing Because I Can't Fly," produced by KTCA TV in St. Paul. She participated in the delightful Les Blank movie "Gap-Toothed Women," contributing a song as well as an interview.

She has recorded fourteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing. Recently, she collaborated with the New Reformation Jazz Band on a Dixieland gospel recording and a tribute to Gershwin and Ellington in celebration of their hundredth birthdays. Claudia's 2003 release on Redhouse Records -- Wings of Wonder-- features many new songs with instrumental support by Dean Magraw and Peter Ostroushko. I Thought About You, is her second effort leading her own swinging sextet - Claudia Schmidt & The JumpBoys. In the fall of 2003 Claudia released an all spoken word CD featuring some of the many pieces she’s made famous in her performances over the past thirty years. The CD, ROADS, includes 17 poems and essays from her rich performance repertoire. In the Summer of 2006 Claudia released her first self-produced folk/acoustic CD Spinning. This recording is a coming home of sorts for Claudia with a studio full of Michigan's finest musicians. Most recently, in the fall of 2006, Claudia teamed up again with Dean Magraw this time for a live jazz recording at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. This great example of Claudia at work on stage features classic jazz pieces along with several of her own jazz-inspired compositions.

Claudia has also made a name for herself in musical theater around the midwest. She has scored the music for several plays including a Joseph Jefferson Award winning effort for "A Good Person of Szechuan" mounted by the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1992. In 2006 Claudia recorded the soundtrack for a new documentary Motherhood Manifesto, by John deGraff author of Take Back Your Time. She also starred in a musical telling of the Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy titled The Gales of November. This theater piece tells the tragic story of the sinking of this mighty ore ship from the point of view of the wives of several fated crew members

A musician who has always hated categories, she describes herself as a "creative noisemaker," which has irritated some critics but delighted many audiences, who learn to expect anything at a Schmidt concert, hymn, poem, bawdy verse, torch song, satire, and the gamut of emotions. Her live performances are not to be missed. Her musicality is astonishing. Her joy and love of performing are contagious. She can weave the elements of music and stage into a program so unified and full of life that one critic has described a Claudia Schmidt concert as "....a lot like falling in love. You never know what's going to happen next, chances are it's going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory, and you know you'll never be the same again."

Claudia Schmidt with the JumpBoys - I Thought About You
Claudia Schmidt with the JumpBoys - I Thought About YouA wonderful marriage of an exciting vocalist with a great quintet resulting in a very classy session. The choice of material is diverse and spans decades of standards and seldom heard pieces including Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin's "My Ship" and Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz's 1937 hit "By Myself." Claudia adds one of her own compositions - a very bluesy ballad called "Love Is The Strongest Thing." Schmidt's up-tempo treatment of "How High The Moon" shows her ability to scat with the best of them. But she's equally at home when providing a delicate delivery of "I Thought About You" or a hot and sassy groove as she does on "Fever."
CD Price: $14.97
Midwestern Heart
Claudia Schmidt  - Midwestern HeartClaudia's second recording finds her continuing to explore the folk idiom with some unusual combinations (lap dulcimer and steel drum, piano and 12-string). Strong originals with a couple of choice songs by others to complement the whole. Stereo Review nominated this record for Best Folk Album of 1981.
CD Price: $14.97
Claudia Schmidt with the JumpBoys - Live at the Old Rectory Pub
Claudia Schmidt with the JumpBoys - Live at the Old Rectory PubClaudia Schmidt has reinvented herself as a jazz/blues singer and dispatches the play list on this CD as if she has been doing this material forever. The variety in the play list is apparent with such songs as the1944 hit "One Meatball", Bill Broonzy's classic "Trouble in Mind", and the Nat King Cole favorite "Frim Fram Sauce."
CD Price: $14.97
Wings of Wonder
Claudia Schmidt - Wings of WonderFeatures nine original compositions plus stirring versions of the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger," Brazilian composer Milton Nascimento's "Chamada" and the classic "My One and Only Love," performed by Schmidt on soaring vocals and her trademark 12-string guitar and dulcimer, with Dean Magraw on guitar and Peter Ostroushko on mandolin and fiddle.
CD Price: $14.97
ROADS
Claudia Schmidt - ROADS Claudias first completely Spoken Word CD. This is the culmination of years of performing and reciting poetry on stage during performances.
CD Price: $14.97
Closing the Distance
Claudia Schmidt - Closing the DistanceThe mutual eclectic tastes of Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers, along with a shared middle name (Jane) and father's first name (Gus) led them to do occasional concets together across the Midwest, then to this album. The album was released for the 1987 Mother's Day season, and is dedicated to all moms, but especially to Esther and Jane.
CD Price: $14.97
Spinning
Claudia Schmidt - SpinningWith this CD, Claudia returns to her roots in folk, but tinged with jazz and blues. Her first folk recording produced independently, it features 13 tracks - eleven original compositions and two "covers." It also features many of her cohorts in the local music scene from northern Michigan, including: Don Julin, Crispin Campbell, Janice Keegan, Steve Stargardt, Dawn Campbell, Joddy Croswhite, Jack Dryden, and John Kumjian.
CD Price: $14.97
Live at the Dakota
Claudia Schmidt - Live at the DakotaBilled as "Claudia Schmidt With the Dean Magraw Quintet" it might more aptly be described as the "Claudia Schmidt/Dean Magraw Sextet." This is a collaborative ensemble effort where the vocalist is truly an instrument and, as often as not, the focus is on one or more of the other "voices." Recorded live at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis in May 2006.
CD Price: $14.97
While We Live
Claudia Schmidt - While We LiveThis CD features some fine dulcimer and guitar work, along with vocals that will thrill you. Many of the songs deal with social problems facing today's generation. ~Chip Renner, All Music Guide
CD Price: $14.97
Essential Tension
Claudia Schmidt - Essential Tension "Claudia Schmidt seduces spring out of the depths of winter." - Dirty Linen
CD Price: $14.97
Claudia Schmidt
Claudia Schmidt - Claudia SchmidtClaudia Schmidt's recording career got off to an impressive start with this self-titled effort, which wasn't well known in the pop market but was highly regarded in folk circles. Combining folk with everything from blues and country to pop, the Chicago-based singer brought a great deal of charisma and honesty to originals like "Lady," "Whale Song" and "Fuzzy" as well as the traditional "Horse Thief." Schmidt successfully moves into a jazz/R&B environment on her convincing interpretation of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You," but top honors must go to the darkly compelling "Old Woman Lament." Taking a look at the plight of old woman who finds herself coping with crime and poverty in a large city, the song sends a chill up your spine. But on the whole, this acoustic-oriented session is more optimistic. Originally a vinyl LP, Claudia Schmidt was reissued on CD in 1989. ~Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
CD Price: $14.97
Promising Sky
Claudia Schmidt with the JumpBoys - Promising Sky In this latest recording, Schmidt reaches new levels of artistry in her evolution as composer and performer. The Funtet (comprised of Don Julin, Jack Dryden, Ron Getz, and Randy Marsh) is a quartet of remarkable musicians who understand and enhance Schmidt's quirky approach to composing and performing. Together these five musicians create a fresh and exciting sound that appeals to a wide range of listeners. A little jazzy, a little folkie, a little funky—and a whole lot of fun.
CD Price: $14.97
Bend in the River
Claudia Schmidt - Bend in the RiverCollecting tracks from her five albums from Red House Records, and featuring guest spots from members of Beausoleil, Violent Femmes, J.J. Farley & the Original Soul Stirrers, and Tom Waits' crackerjack junkyard touring band, it shows that Schmidt is and was much more than a folk singer. It also spotlights her sharp songwriting, with only one traditional song ("Wayfaring Stranger") included - the rest were written by Schmidt.
CD Price: $14.97
Evidence of Happiness
Claudia Schmidt - Evidence of Happiness Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt are proud to announce the release of their third album together, the first in 22 years! Evidence of Happiness, named after one of Claudia's latest compositions, is a wonderful collaboration between these very simpatico singers. Fans will be delighted by the whimsical combination of traditional songs, Sally and Claudia's own compositions, and a few wonderful contemporary pieces, all sung with tight harmonies by the soaring voices of these veterans of the folk world.
CD Price: $14.97
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