Since moving to BC's Bowen Island in 1996, Christie Grace has steadfastly established a reputation as a rising and gifted jazz singer/songwriter. A native of Thunder Bay ON, Christie's innate passion for music began as a family affair beside her multi talented father John McCullough, a renowned vocalist and leader of his own 22-piece jazz orchestra and brother Murray, an extraordinary blues musician and bandleader. Singing professionally since she was 17, Christie explored many musical stylings through her early years of development that ranged from folk, classical, pop and musical theatre yet jazz remained her first love. A turning point in her development occurred in 2000 during her study at Capilano College with respected Jazz singer Kate Hammett-Vaughan and numerous professional jazz musicians from the Vancouver scene. Her studies with veteran jazz pianists Stan Keen and Bob Murphy eventually acted as a springboard to her mature emergence as a distinctive, mesmerizing smooth jazz artist. The thrilling release of her debut CD recording, 'Late Bloomer', met with critical acclaim. Russell Hall from Performing Songwriter described her voice as 'brushed velvet'. CBC's Jurgen Gothe said, 'So few make an impact - Christie Grace has the stuff!' While Paul Shaffer, Musical Director of the David Letterman Show said, 'Christie Grace has a sound that washes over you like sweet honey and fine wine. Every song is as beautiful to listen to as she is to look at'. The success of this first album led to concerts and sold-out appearances including several at Vancouver's premiere jazz club, The Cellar where in 2003 Christie performed her outstanding, timely tribute, The Joni Mitchell Retrospective. This innovative show incorporated jazz arrangements on Mitchell classics. Each song, though undeniably recognizable, became 'brand new' under Christie's sublime vocals that both intrigued and delighted the audience with it's different, evocative perspective. Christie's 2nd CD, 'Contemplation', was released in Oct 2007 and was co-produced with jazz musician/arranger, Bill Runge. She is in very good company with accomplished Vancouver jazz musicians Chris Gestrin (organ, piano) and Michael Creber (piano), National Jazz award winner, Jodi Proznick (bass), Daryl Jahnke (guitar), Joseph 'Pepe' Danza (percussion, flutes, multi-instrumentals), Vince Mai (trumpet) and Dave Robbins (drums) . Adding an unexpected and unique texture to the CD is the classic Moon River which was performed and recorded in New York City with old friend, Paul Shaffer. The 12-song CD of originals and covers, offers a sonic journey of infectious rhythms, soulful ballads that one listener defined as 'soothing to the soul'. Bob Hales President of VMA described 'her pitch as immaculate and it has been a long time since I have heard someone sing a jazz ballad so beautifully and at a perfect jazz tempo'. In October of 2008 the CD won in 2 category's from the 2008 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards including Best Provincial Jazz Song: Meet Me in Maui and Best Provincial Jazz Artist.
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