L.A.-based jazz vocalist Joanne Tatham, who just finished her May engagement at the acclaimed Metropolitan Room in New York with her latest show "Soundtrack New York", agreed to sit down with me for a chat. Catch her July 13th performing in MARK WINKLER’S FIRST ANNUAL BENEFIT FOR ANIMALS to help Petmania animal rescue in Burbank, CA. The benefit will be held at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. For reservations call: (323) 466-2210.
Joanne has appeared frequently in top LA clubs like Catalina's, Vibrato, The Baked Potato and The Cinegrill; at the Annenberg Theater and as a regular guest with the Desert Cities Jazz Band in Palm Springs; and in New York she has appeared at The Town Hall, The Duplex, The Triad, Cafe Carlyle and Feinstein's at Loews Regency.
Equally at home in the worlds of Jazz and the Great American Songbook, Ms. Tatham has appeared in several of the prestigious Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Conventions. Ms. Tatham has made two recordings, "Making Light" and "The Merriest," and is preparing a third for release early next year with Mark Winkler producing.
The Washington Post has hailed her "exceptionally beautiful voice... reminiscent of the pop balladeers of the late '50's and early '60's, but with a fine-drawn intensity and shimmering vibrato that are all her own"; while Penthouse Magazine has urged: "If you get a chance to see Joanne Tatham perform live, get moving! She's something you won't want to miss."
ROBYN: How Did You Get Into "The Biz"?
JOANNE: Depends on which part of the business you mean. When I was younger, just out of school, I got a summer job at Bucks County Playhouse because I won a contest they sponsored for high school students and had been seen. That was probably my first paying job in the business. (Not counting the small change and tips I got singing in a wedding band on weekends.) After college I was auditioning like everyone else and got into the company of the Light Opera of Manhattan. Second theatre job, this time off-Broadway. After I moved to LA and started a family, I couldn't do eight shows a week anymore, so I looked into club singing and recording. The first gigs I got are a result of doing Peisha McPhee's workshop at the Cinegrill and having J.D. Kessler see me and put me in a Spotlight night he ran with Cliffford Bell. And the rest is... still happening!
R: Who Were Your Greatest Inspirations?
J: The recording artists that were played on WNEW AM New York, a radio station that I remember from my earliest years was always on in my house, in my Mother's car, it seemed to be on everywhere. Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Eydie Gorme, Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Rosemary Clooney. Singing what I now know is called the Great American Songbook.
R: Worst Audition Experience?
J: Getting typed out.
R: What Song Is Your "Guilty Pleasure"?
J: "Got to Be Real", Cheryl Lynn. I'm listening to it now.
R: What is Your Anthem Song?
J: "Got to Be Real", Cheryl Lynn.
R: "Must Haves" Backstage:
J: Water is nice, hot water even better. I bring my own tea bags.
R: What One Sentence of Advice Can You Give to Industry Beginners?
J: When people ask me why I gave up performing for so long, I tell them: you know that advice they give young actors - "If there is something else you can do, do it." Well... I took that advice. What - you're not supposed to?????????
So my advice, in one sentence: Don't take any advice.
R: What Has Been Your Favorite Moment on Stage?
J: Hmmmmmm. Probably singing one of my favorite songs, Bill Wither's "Lovely Day" at Catalina Jazz Club, with Clarence McDonald and Ray Parker, Jr. - the guys on the keys and guitar, respectively, on the original recording. Yeah, that was a trip!