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Judy Whitmore "Isn't it Romantic"

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    Posted: 13 Sep 2022 at 9:45pm






Most people would need two or three lifetimes to accomplish as much in life as vocalist JUDY WHITMORE has so far. She is a respected jazz and cabaret performer and recording artist, a bestselling novelist, a theater producer, a Board member of Pacific Symphony, and is a Marriage and Family therapist with a master’s degree in clinical psychology, and a licensed commercial jet pilot. She can also ride horses and can peaches. Now, on her third album, Whitmore lends her lilting, appealing voice to some of the most iconic tunes of the Great American Songbook. ISN’T IT ROMANTIC follows her debut release Act 3 (2016) and Can’t We Be Friends (2020).


Whitmore was inspired to make an album of standards after speaking with a young man who was completely unfamiliar with the great standards and the composers who created the music. In fact, he had never even heard of Frank Sinatra. Whitmore says, “The music of the Great American Songbook is a joy to sing. The melodies are gorgeous, and the lyrics are deeply expressive. The quality of these standards has stood the test of time. It’s a shame that so many young people don’t know these songs. I consider it my mission to help keep this music alive and vibrant.”


On ISN’T IT ROMANTIC, Whitmore chose a mix of ballads and swing tunes to which she applies her velvety vocals. She chose twelve timeless favorites, including “It Could Happen To You,” “I Remember You,” “Sunday In New York,” “You Go To My Head,” “The Nearness Of You,” “The Birth Of The Blues,” “Speak Low,” “Isn't It Romantic,” “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning,” “But Beautiful,” and “Hallelujah I Love Him So,” plus “Just A Little Lovin',” a love song from the 1960s that has become a pop standard.


Whitmore is joined by some of the top musicians in Southern California, including pianist TAMIR HENDELMAN, who arranged all the songs on the album. Hendelman is a longtime member of the highly regarded Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has performed with a Who’s Who of jazz luminaries such as Harry Allen, Teddy Edwards, Warren Vaché, Houston Person, Nick Brignola, Phil Upchurch, Rickey Woodard, John Clayton, Barbara Morrison, and Tierney Sutton. He also toured and recorded with Barbra Streisand. Also accompanying Whitmore are stellar artists LORI BELL (flute), RICKEY WOODARD (alto & tenor saxes), MIKE ROCHA (trumpet), MITCHELL LONG (acoustic guitar), LARRY KOONSE (electric guitar), ALEX FRANK (bass), DEAN KOBA (drums), and BRIAN KILGORE (percussion).


Although Whitmore has accomplished so much, music is her first love and true calling. Born in New York City and raised in Studio City, California, she was destined to become a vocalist. She was named after Judy Garland, who was a friend of her grandfather, a violinist for the MGM Studio Orchestra. When she was six years old, she started dance lessons from Donald O’Connor’s brother. Around that time, she also began taking singing lessons.


Whitmore sang throughout her school years, but her dream of becoming a professional vocalist was sparked during college when she was hired as a backup singer by Capitol Records. After marrying at the age of 20, Whitmore and her husband had two children and moved to the more rural environment of Aspen, Colorado, putting her singing career on the back burner.


While in Aspen, Whitmore became friends with her neighbors, John and Annie Denver. John Denver helped her overcome her fear of flying, and it was not long before she was flying search-and-rescue missions for Pitkin County (Aspen) Air Rescue. She also got her license to fly seaplanes and hot air balloons as well as her commercial jet pilot’s license. During her time in Aspen, she was also asked to serve as president of both the Aspen Playwright’s Conference and the American Theatre Company because of her fundraising abilities. Eventually, she moved back to Los Angeles and produced the musical, “Taking a Chance on Love,” which received a rave review in Variety. Whitmore also spent a year in London while co-producing Leonard Bernstein’s “Wonderful Town.” When she returned to Southern California, she went back to college and earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She then opened a private practice in West Los Angeles, which she maintained for several years.


Despite her many accomplishments, she kept seeking new avenues of creativity and enrolled in writing courses at UC Irvine, writing the novel Come Fly with Me in 2013. Inspired by her own life as a pilot, the book topped the Amazon Kindle Bestseller List, and Whitmore was recognized with “First Place for Women’s Fiction” at The Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference and the “Editor’s Choice Award” at the San Diego State University’s Writer’s Conference. She also went on to write two other books, All Time Favorites: Recipes from Family and Friends and an illustrated retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.


Although her life’s journey had taken her down many different paths, she never lost her love of music and co-founded the musical group Act Three with her brother Billy and her neighbor Lynn. The trio performed at legendary venues including The Ritz Hotel in Paris and the Metropolitan Room and Carnegie Hall in New York. Whitmore relates, “I always wanted to sing full-time, but it was never possible. I loved being a pilot, a therapist, a theater producer, and a writer. I had done all these exciting things, and none of it was easy. But I always felt something was missing,” she admits. “I knew it was time to get that box of dreams out of the closet and embrace the music career I had always wanted.”


# # #


ISN’T IT ROMANTIC is set for release on September 14, 2022 and will be available everywhere.

WATCH: "It Could Happen to You"





@JudithWhitmore (IG/Twitter)

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