June 02, 2012
Time and again, recording artists Amy and Leslie play to standing-room-only, turn-’em-away crowds at the Cafe. They return now with their unique and stunning harmonies, accompanied by world class musicians Cathie Malach on piano and Helen Avakian on acoustic guitar.
The luscious vocal harmonies of Amy Fradon and Leslie Ritter made them coveted session singers in the early 1980s. Their vocals were heard on recordings by Orleans, Rick Danko, John Sebastian, the Livingston Taylor, and Happy and Artie Traum. As an independent duo, the two singer-songwriters collaborated on six albums during the nine years that they worked together.
They have been called “the female Everley Brothers,” and are known nationwide for their precise and breathtaking ability to sing together.
Amy Fradon is well-known for her sweet and soaring vocals and heartfelt songwriting. She has a wide range of styles and has been compared to Joan Baez as well as Aretha Franklin. Amy has been a successful session singer and has toured extensively with various theatre and music ensembles, including Pumpboys and Dinettes, the Vananver Caravan and Face the Music. She has 3 critically acclaimed, solo, self-produced CDs; and is the creator of the Vocal Visionary Voice Work, helping people to discover confidence and freedom through the voice.
Leslie Ritter’s lush tones and crystal clear melodic lines deliver songs that soar, crafted with lyrics that give a personal spin on universal themes: love and longing, that illusive balance between independence and inter-relatedness, sorrow, joy… life. Leslie grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. Her mother, a Julliard trained pianist and teacher and her father a French horn player, nurtured her early affinity to music. By age five she was singing show tunes, Frank Sinatra ballads and Puccini arias. Since then she has performed and recorded with an ever-widening circle of artists who appreciate her unique sensibilities as a live performer and superb studio vocalist, including James and Livingston Taylor, Robbie Dupree, David Wilcox, Rory Block, Dr. John, Jules Shear, John Sebastian, John Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Artie Traum, Rick Danko, The Fugs, and others.
Cathie Malach has been playing and composing on piano for over 45 years (and yet, she’s only 35 years old …a miracle). She’s composed and recorded several albums with Kim Rosen, and collaborated with artists such as Peter Kater, Chris White, David Darling, Paul McCandless, and of course, Amy and Leslie. She’s also composed for children’s theatre and performed improvisational music for transformational workshops throughout the country.
Helen Avakian is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who cultivates an idiosyncratic, often dreamy sound, with influences ranging from Suzanne Vega to JS Bach. Helen’s impressive musicianship coupled with her down-to-earth stage manner has endeared her to an ever-increasing audience. Helen meshes her classical guitar roots with a song writing style that adds a new dimension to the realm of acoustic performers. Helen has recently released her latest CD, “I Love The Moon,” which is receiving great reviews and song writing awards. – http://HelenAvakian.com
“An acoustic duo from the Hudson Valley reunited… and played like they had never been apart a day …Amy & Leslie’s heavenly blend was always their calling card and in Albany, that was not diminished one iota. Looking casual and comfortable… it was simply captivating.” –David Malachowski, on Amy and Leslie’s reunion performance in Albany, from http://TimesUnion.com/
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