Six-time winner of Downbeat magazine's Critic's Poll as Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition and past winner of the Jazz Journalist Association's "Baritone Sax of the Year", Claire Daly's love of jazz began as a young girl in 1971, just three months after starting saxophone lessons. While attending a big band concert, the reed section stood up for soli and Clair was on her chair screaming. After dragging her father to the stage door for autographs afterwards, she said of that Buddy Rich Band, "I'd do anything to be on that bus." Claire's career since has included anchoring the sax section of the Diva Big Band, collaborating on five CDs with pianist Joel Forrester, and releasing four discs of her own. Her brand new quartet project -- "Baritone Monk" -- features her interpretations of the music of Thelonious Monk.
In her multi-faceted musical career, vocalist Roberta Donnay has won numerous awards for her work as a singer/songwriter. However, her first music love has always been jazz. After the critical success of her 2008 album of jazz standards, produced by Orrin Keepnews, she is now focusing her attention on the music of the Prohibition Era, with her beguiling and entertaining new recording -- "A Little Sugar." It's a hip tribute to Donnay's favorite women singers of the time including Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Josephine Baker, Ethel Waters, Billie and Ella.