Rio Sakairi, our Director of Programming, offers the following advice: “Don’t sleep on Camille Thurman. This girl is bad.” The guitarist Russell Malone praises Camille’s “warm and beautiful sound,” and heralds the reedist and vocalist as “a creative improviser…with taste. Keep your ears on this young lady!” The pianist Luis Perdomo concurs, noting Camille’s ”very versatile talent” and suggesting that she is one “to watch out for.” “Look out for this fresh new voice on the New York scene,” proclaims the saxophonist Tia Fuller, “As a saxophonist, flutist, vocalist and composer, Camille is versatile and deeply rooted in the tradition. Get ready world…Camille Thurman has it all.”
If you haven’t checked out Camille’s own groups yet, you may have heard her performing with one of the artists whose effusive praise you just read. Or perhaps you’ve seen her sharing the stage with elder statesmen like Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Golson, or George Coleman, or backing up R&B and Hip-Hop stars like Alicia Keys, India Arie, Ciara, or Missy Elliott. One thing is certain: with the formidable combination of “gutbucket” (The Hartford Courant) tenor stylings and a four-octave vocal range, you’re likely to start hearing more about Camille very soon.
Camille is a native of Queens, New York. Her musical journey started with early lessons from memorizing and singing the music of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sarah Vaughan, and other artists in her mother’s record collection. Camille added the flute and the saxophone to her arsenal in her early teens, and was performing professionally even while studying the geological and environmental sciences at Binghampton University. After graduating, Camille made the move to New York, where she is a regular member of the Nicholas Payton Television Studio Orchestra, the Mimi Jones Band, Charlie Persip and Supersound, theValery Ponomarev Big Band, and the UMOJA Sextet. Her own quartet has performed around the country and around the globe. Most recently, Camille won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award for the second time in a row, and was one of four artists featured as a part of the “ASCAP’S Songwriters: The Next Generation” showcase at the Kennedy Center.
On Thursday, we will present Camille for the second time as a part of our debut series. This time, she’ll be supported by a quartet featuring the pianist Luis Perdomo, the bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and the drummer Johnathan Blake.
Watch a video of Camille performing “A Change of Mind” live at The Jazz Gallery last November.