The situation that jazz vocalist Cathi Walkup finds herself in as an independent artist at the dawn of the 21st century is both better and worse than the experiences of some of the legends of yesterday who were her inspiration. On one hand, jazz singers such as Anita O'Day, Ella Fitzgerald, and Irene Kral had more opportunities to make their mark by working with the big bands of their day. On the other hand, Walkup has an opportunity those legendary ladies never dreamed of: the Internet. The modern singer/songwriter is making the most of today's technology, using it to give people a taste of her music and her voice in much the same way that yesterday's big bands played across the country to showcase their songs and talented vocalists. And thanks to the global nature of the Internet, people in the Netherlands and South Africa who visit the San Francisco-based artist's website and sample her tunes can satisfy their hankering for more far more easily than jazz aficionados could in the past. In addition, today's fans can hear her voice on the radio air weaves in Poland and Germany, as well as see her perform on stages in California and Hawaii, with East Coast venues in the works. Walkup has combined the best of both worlds, blending the artistry and finesse of the genre's past with the high-tech wizardry of the present. A native of St. Louis, MO, the vocalist relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Her first musical outing came four years later, when she joined a band called Mixed Bags. She went on to establish her own swing and jazz group, Cathi Walkup's Swing Thing, during the early '90s. She was a music theory student of Jim Grantham and a voice student of Hugh McClure. Cathi Walkup Live at the Plush Room, the singer's debut recording, was issued in cassette format only. In 1996, she put together her first CD, Night Owl. Flying Weasel Enterprises, the label she heads, has issued a total of four of Walkup's CDs, two of which are compilations.
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