August 2010

August 5, 2010

Tickets are now on sale for the 2010-2011 Spokane Jazz Orchestra season, "Burnin' Hot." Single show tickets are now on sale at all Ticketswest outlets.

The Spokane Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Tom Molter, is proud to announce its lineup for the 2010-2011 concert season at the Bing Crosby theater in downtown Spokane:


September 24, 2010, "Hot Jazz from the Cotton Club," with vocalist Lorraine Feather

December 4, 2010, "A Hot Spiced Christmas," with vocalist Jennifer Madsen

March 12, 2011, "Smoldering Swing," featuring Kathleen and Gary Gemberling

May 14, 2011, "Brazilian Fire," with vocalist Sandy Cressman


Lorraine Feather was born in Manhattan. Her parents named her Billie Jane Lee Lorraine after godmother Billie Holiday, her mother Jane (formerly a big band singer), her mother's ex-roommate Peggy Lee, and the song "Sweet Lorraine." She is the daughter of the late jazz writer Leonard Feather.

The Feathers moved to L.A. when Lorraine was 12; at 18, after two years as a theater arts major at L.A. City College, she returned to New York to pursue an acting career. Some touring, off-Broadway work and the Broadway show Jesus Christ Superstar followed, interspersed with many waitressing jobs up and down Manhattan's West Side.

Frequently out of work, and discouraged by more than one restaurateur from pursuing a career in the food service industry, Lorraine decided to try singing. She began working with various jazz and Top 40 bands in and around New York. She sang backup for Petula Clark and Grand Funk Railroad, and finally put her own act together, eventually moving back to L.A., where she sang at local jazz clubs and did a solo album for Concord. Soon after, she joined producer Richard Perry's vocal trio Full Swing and recorded three albums with the group. Lorraine wrote lyrics for most of the songs on these releases, some for classic pieces like Duke Ellington's "Rockin' in Rhythm," the Yellowjackets' "Ballad of the Whale" and Horace Henderson's "Big John's Special" (later heard in the movie Swing Shift). Full Swing was featured on Barry Manilow's Swing Street album and TV special singing the Feather/Eddie Arkin song "Big Fun."

When Full Swing dissolved, Lorraine focused mainly on writing. Songs with her lyrics were recorded by artists such as Patti Austin, Phyllis Hyman, Djavan, David Benoit, Kenny Rankin and Diane Schuur. Cleo Laine recorded four tracks of Lorraine's versions of Ellington instrumentals.

Lorraine has written lyrics for the Disney TV show Dinosaurs (with Ray Colcord) and the PBS show Make Way for Noddy (with Terry Sampson). Her work with Mark Watters includes the MGM animated film Babes in Toyland, Disney's Pooh's Heffalump Halloween, Hasbro's Candy Land movie and their My Little Pony series, as well as the touring stage show My Little Pony-The World's Biggest Tea Party. They also wrote opening title themes for All Dogs Go to Heaven and The Lionhearts, and the piece "Faster, Higher, Stronger," performed by opera singer Jessye Norman in the closing of the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Lorraine worked on the Disney films The Jungle Book 2 (with Paul Grabowsky) and The Princess Diaries 2 (with Larry Grossman). She has received seven Emmy nominations.

Lorraine has written lyrics for the My Little Pony films for several years, with music by Mark Watters. The most recent of these, Twinkle Wish Adventure, also showed on the Disney Channel.

Lorraine has always kept singing: she sang on the Dick Tracy soundtrack (with Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne of The Manhattan Transfer) the soundtrack album for Bette Midler's For the Boys, and keyboardist Terry Trotter's Sweeney Todd in Jazz.

Lorraine's album The Body Remembers, released in March of 1997 on the Bean Bag label, was an offbeat electronic project written with various co-writers including her husband, drummer Tony Morales, Terry Sampson, Joe Curiale, Yutaka, and Eddie Arkin. Some of the album's musical guests were Russ Freeman, David Benoit and Don Grusin.

In 1999 Lorraine began a year-long project, the compositions of Fats Waller with her lyrics and vocals. The album featured Dick Hyman, Mike Lang and Fats Waller himself, in sampled form, on piano. It was released in July of 2001 on Rhombus Records, received glowing reviews and was played on 150+ radio stations nationwide. Lorraine's next three CDs were released on Sanctuary. She completed Cafe Society in the summer of 2002; this was a compilation of original songs in a classic jazz motif, with music by Duke Ellington, Johnny Mandel, Don Grusin, Eddie Arkin, Russell Ferrante and David Benoit. In 2003 her Such Sweet Thunder CD came out. This project featured the music of Duke Ellington with her added lyrics, and received a four-star review in Down Beat and a description of "pure genius" from Jazz Times. Her new album Dooji Wooji was released in early 2005 and also received enthusiastic reviews.

Lorraine's 2008 solo project was Language, which was released in April of 2008 on the Colorado label Jazzed Media. The songs were written with contemporary composers Shelly Berg, Russell Ferrante, Bill Elliott, Eddie Arkin, Michael B. Nelson, Terry Sampson and Tony Morales. Language was the #1-selling jazz CD on Amazon the month after its release. Her 2010 release is Ages and features songs with her lyrics as always, and music by Arkin, Berg, Ferrante, Dick Hyman and Béla Fleck. Ages was on all three jazz airplay charts consistently for several months, received an unprecedented number of rave reviews and reached the #2 spot in its category for Amazon downloads.

Lorraine has made several self-produced videos to accompany her CDs. In 2008 she began work on a fully-animated short film of one of her Waller adaptations, "You're Outa Here" (based on Waller's "The Minor Drag"), co-produced with "the quintessential independent American animator" George Griffin. The film was released in 2009, played at 35 festivals internationally, and won several awards, including Best Music Video at the South Beach International Animation Festival.

Lorraine and her husband Tony moved from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1990s, then relocated to the San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington State, in the summer of 2007. They have no children but have adopted dogs and cats on a continuing basis throughout their marriage. The current pair are Sterling and Brava, scooped up from Hopalong Rescue and The Milo Foundation respectively.