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Judy Wexler

Los Angeles-based vocalist Judy Wexler is a sophisticated jazz and contemporary pop vocalist. She emerged in the early 2000s, showcasing her adept style inspired by artists like Shirley Horn, Annie Ross, and Irene Kral. A longtime collaborator with pianist Alan Pasqua, she has earned acclaim for her albums, including 2005's Easy on the Heart, 2008's Dreams and Shadows, and 2019's Crowded Heart. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Wexler initially pursued her love of acting, graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a double major in theater and psychology. By the late '70s, she had moved to San Francisco where she ensconced herself in the alternative theater scene, forming the performance group Caught in the Act, A Theater Collective of Four Short Women. It was also during this period that she and her husband lived nearby the famed North Beach jazz venue Keystone Korner and came into contact with such luminaries as Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard and Eddie Jefferson. Always passionate about singing, she became increasingly interested in jazz. It was a passion that blossomed after Wexler and her husband relocated to Los Angeles in the early '80s. In between acting jobs, she studied jazz piano with Terry Trotter, and worked on her vocal skills at the Stanford Jazz Workshop where she engaged with singers like Madeline Eastman and Kurt Elling. In 2005, she made her solo debut with Easy on the Heart. The album featured contributions by Wexler's regular collaborator pianist Alan Pasqua and featured a mix of standards and reworked modern pop classics by Henry Mancini, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and others. The similarly sophisticated Dreams & Shadows followed in 2008 and again found her working with Pasqua. 2011's Under a Painted Sky found Wexler and Pasqua expanding their palette with addition of percussionist Alex Acuña and trumpeter Walt Fowler. For 2013's What I See, Wexler collaborated with pianist Jeff Colella on songs by Ricki Lee Jones, Benny Carter, King Pleasure, and others. In 2019, she returned with her fifth studio album, Crowded Heart, which found her reuniting with pianist Pasqua and tackling songs by other contemporary artists including Larry Goldings, Luciana Souza, Gregory Porter, and others.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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