Based in New York City since the mid-'80s, Catherine Dupuis is an American jazz vocalist whose direct or indirect influences have ranged from Annie Ross, Blossom Dearie, Sheila Jordan, and Ella Fitzgerald to cabaret and theatrical music. Dupuis' recordings of the '90s and 2000s are not cabaret in the strict sense -- her albums have been jazz albums first and foremost -- but cabaret is definitely an influence on Dupuis, who has a long list of theatrical credits on her résumé. Along the way, Dupuis has appeared in productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, and She Loves Me as well as the play Daydreams (which is based on the life of traditional pop icon/actress Doris Day). Given her strong appreciation of the theater, it is not surprising that Dupuis (a skillful interpreter of lyrics) has recorded a lot of Tin Pan Alley standards of the '20s, '30s, and '40s; however, she has also included everything from Brazilian songs to pop/rock superstar Sting's "If You Love Someone Set Them Free" in her repertoire.
Dupuis, whose father was an officer in the United States Army, is not a native New Yorker; she was born in Columbus, GA, and spent most of her pre-adult years in State College, PA. After high school, Dupuis moved to Bloomington, IN, in 1976 and attended the Indiana University School of Music (where she studied both jazz and theatrical music with Eileen Farrell, a well-known opera/traditional pop singer who passed away in 2002 at the age of 82). Dupuis also performed with the Singing Hoosiers (a large concert choir that has averaged 115 members) during her years at Indiana University, and she graduated with a degree in music in 1979. After that, Dupuis returned to State College and studied acting at Pennsylvania State University, where she earned an M.F.A. in 1985. That year, Dupuis moved to New York City, and she became more and more active in the Big Apple's jazz scene as the '90s progressed (all the while maintaining her involvement in theater). Dupuis recorded her first album, I Hear Music (which boasted Bill Mays on acoustic piano, Jon Burr on upright bass, and Terry Clarke on drums) in 1997 and 1998; the disc was released by JBQ Records (a small independent label based in Yonkers, NY) in 1999. Dupuis recorded her second album, Moments, in 2001; that release, which she produced herself, employed Mays as conductor and arranger and was released by the New York City-based Bearheart Records. In 2004, Dupuis produced her third album, The Rules of the Road, for Bearheart, which released the album the following year.