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Interview: Randi Cee
(Published: July 16, 2015)

Q: When did you decide to become a jazz vocalist.

A: I had been a fan of the early jazz singers since I was a very small child and my nana would have the Andrew Sisters on the car radio. And then I was taken to jazz festivals and the seed was planted. Then about two years ago I got very serious about it and went to New Orleans to study the form. I went three times over the course of a year. I learned a lot.

Q: Did you receive any formal training. How did you hone your skills.

A: Yes, I had taken voice lessons on and off through the years. Always singing to strengthen my voice. I didn't feel like musical theatre was the right fit for me but I was drawn to the storytelling and I love the tunes. So when I started to sing jazz I became even more serious about becoming a musician. I think that no matter where you are in your career you keep studying. I know for a fact that my amazing vocal coach still is coached by a stellar coach himself. The good ones usually do. The voice is a morphing thing. It must be tended to.

Q: When did you become passionate about music.

A: Because I have always danced and acted. Music was always part of my life. You can't dance without it, well you can but who would want to. So music as part of an artistic expression was always a big part of my life

Q: How did you become part of Glee.

A: I danced in class for years with a man named Zach Woodlee. Later he became a choreographer and producer on the show Glee and he hired me. Working with Zach is pure joy.

Q: What artists moved you the most when you were growing up.

A: This Is a hard one to answer because there are many. However, I think maybe as a very young girl it was Judy Garland, the richness of her vocals with her ability to both act and dance. Fred Astaire always fascinated me, how the lifting of a pinky could be musical. Mesmerizing. Then later it was Peggy Lee, Ella, Anita O'Day. And then when I got serious about early jazz artists The Boswell Sisters, and Bessie Smith is a constant muse.

Q: What do you prefer acting or singing.

A: I think at core the thing I love about singing is exactly what I love about acting. It is storytelling. Communicating. I love them both. But there is a really amazing unique high when you are in the zone with other jazz musicians. There is more to think about when interpreting a jazz song. Not only the lyric but how I want that lyric to be sung.

Q: What other major tv/film shows have you worked on.

A: I have had the good fortune of working with some amazing artists in the film and TV world. Steven Spielberg's Hook - that was one of my first jobs and in a way planted the seed for music. I was conducted in by John Williams to sing (lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) for a part of the score. It had a huge musical number that was mostly cut out of the film but recording in the soundstage where Judy Garland laid down "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was an amazing thing for me. Legally Blonde, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, The Wedding Planner, Mike and Molly, Ally McBeal, The Coen Brothers' The Man That Wasn't There and The Muppet Movie.

(Randi Cee will have a CD release party at Areal Restaurant and Bar, 2820 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA on July 19 at 7 p.m.)

More Information: http://www.randicee.com

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