Cathy Segal Garcia
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about cathy segal-garcia

“Musician’s singer” Cathy Segal-Garcia is a vocalist of “real music integrity” poignantly reports Critical Jazz reviewer. Wherever she travels in the world, audiences and musicians are moved. Segal-Garcia’s deep connection to rhythm and her earthy and organic voice brings a nakedness to her communication, a direct line in to one’s heart. Her repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards and jazz musicians’ compositions.

Critical Jazz says she brings, “The vibe of artistic integrity coupled with honest emotion for a captivating experience.” Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times added, “Segal-Garcia’s most compelling quality is a warm, dark sound, luxurious enough to wrap a song in an envelope of lush timbres.”

Segal-Garcia has been a tireless supporter and producer of the L.A. jazz scene for years and has been recognized for such by musicians, singers, jazz fans, and organizations such as L.A. Jazz Scene,, CA Jazz Foundation,, Great American Songbook Preservation Society, and the CA Lawyers for the Arts. In 2014 she was named a “Jazz Living Legend” in Los Angeles.

Recording and performing with jazz legends is part of her career heritage. A sampling of noted guitarists and pianists she has collaborated with include Ted Greene, Joe Diorio, Larry Koonse, John Pisano, Ross Tompkins, Billy Childs, Otmaro Ruiz, and Josh Nelson. Legendary jazz drummer Peter Erskine, part of the trio on her “Song of The Heart” recording says, “[it’s] the freshest vocal project which I’ve ever been involved in, and it’s one of my favorite tapes of the past year.” Bill Evans bassist Marc Johnson also appears on this recording and adds, “This recording deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. The choice of material is top notch -- very interesting. The duets were special, the interplay, dynamics, Cathy’s range and intonation are great!”

Cathy is as well known for her teaching as she is for her singing. Her students often comment that she not only improved their voices, she has helped them change their lives. Her workshops for vocalists have been consistently produced since 1998, including such luminary guest clinicians as Mark Murphy, Cheryl Bentyne, Barbara Morrison, Rhiannon, Gretchen Parlato, Kate McGary, Nancy King, Peter Eldridge, Meredith D’Ambrosio, Sachal Vasandani, and Rebecca Parris.

Cathy Segal-Garcia is known throughout the world for her performing and teaching, especially in Japan where she has toured for over 25 years performing in jazz clubs and festivals throughout the country.

Her recording, “The Moment, Featuring Cathy Segal-Garcia, Live at the Blue Whale”, reveals how mercurial she is, and shows her vivid connection to these spontaneous musicians. Performing originals and jazz instrumentalists’ compositions, the creations with the musicians, and her unhurried delivery, takes the listener through various emotions for an honest connection to themselves.

Segal-Garcia’s latest project is a collection of duos with 11 pianists and 1 violinist. Personnel include: Josh Nelson, Otmaro Ruiz, Vardan Ovsepian, John Beasley, Gary Fukushima, Llew Mathews, Karen Hammack, Dave MacKay, David Moscoe, Jane Getz, Bevan Manson, and Calabria Foti. The project beautifully demonstrates the subtle abilities and emotions that are available to an excellent musician and excellent vocalist when they are creating together.





Available CDs


THE JAZZ CHAMBER  (arrangements featuring 25 world-class musicians in a chamber orchestra setting)

Co-produced by Bevan Manson and Dennis Dreith, this beautiful project had arrangements by Bevan, Dennis, and Dori Amarilio.  It featured guest artists:  bass clarinetist/composer/jazz elder Bennie Maupin, award winning vocalists Tierney Sutton and Kate McGary, stellar Filipino jazz vocalist Mon David, and “Fish To Bird” vocal improve group: Cathy, Mon David, Emile Hassan Dyer, Cecily Gardner, Ashley Maher, Adrianne Duncan and Tracy Robertson.

IN2UITION  (jazz duos with 10 different pianists)

Cathy’s love for singing with one musician at a time, pushed her into the desire to record with some of the many wonderful musicians she’s worked with over the years.  10 pianists & one violinist are featured:  Otmaro Ruiz, John Beasley, Gary Fukushima, Vardan Ovsepian, Karen Hammack, Jane Getz, Bevan Manson, Dave Moscoe, Llew Mathews, josh Nelson, and Calabria Foti.  Included are songs of jazz composers, the Great American Songbook, and Cathy’s originals.

POINT OF VIEW (alternative/new age jazz)

This CD was my first. Some called it “New Age” because of the lyric content. Most all of the songs were originals by Gus Garcia and me. The non-original is “When You Wish Upon A Star”. I had many musicians on this: Frank Severino, John Heard, Octavio Bailly, Bill Lohr, Rick Helzer, Armando Compean, Art Rodriguez, Tom Brechtlein, Wayne Johnson, Russell Ferrante, Jim Lacefield, Jim Cowger, Loren Pickford, Clay Jenkins, Paul Yonemura, Gary Willis, Scott Colley. Most of the arrangements, done by San Diego pianist Rick Helzer, were classic, absolutely beautiful.

SONG OF THE HEART (modern/straight ahead jazz)

The trio was gorgeous. On piano, my traveling & playing partner for many years, Phillip Strange. Marc Johnson on bass; who was the last bassist with Bill Evans & has played on wonderful modern jazz recordings. On drums, one of the most desired modern jazz players today, played with Weather Report & Stan Kenton, & has made many beautiful modern jazz recordings, Peter Erskine. Recorded by Chick Corea’s personal engineer, Bernie Kirsh, at the Mad Hatter Studio, this band sounds great! Standards rearranged, several of my originals, including “Diane”, “Mr. Hall” and “The Story”, a few bass and vocal duets, and a few instrumentals. Voted “Best Of The Genre” on Internet’s Music Blvd.

HEART TO HEART (classic jazz)

A duo recording with pianist Ross Tompkins. Ross was the pianist for the Doc Severinson Tonight Show band, has endless recording & performing credits, rock to jazz. Truly a vocalist’s accompanist, this is a recording of all standards, with a special 50’s song dedicated to my sister, who passed in 1997. A mellow recording, easy on the ears; classic jazz. Some of my favorites… “That’s All”, “Exactly Like You”, & Jackie Gleason’s theme song he wrote…“Melancholy Serenade”…

ALONE TOGETHER (modern jazz)

A duo recording with pianist Phillip Strange. Interestingly enough, this recording and Heart To Heart were both recorded in the same week…& these recordings couldn’t have been more different! Phil and I had just come home from a month tour in Japan. We recorded in Arizona, in an impeccable recording situation.. the sound is marvelous. We did modern arrangements of standards. Got kinda crazy on this one! My favorites…a sloooowwwwww version of “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”, and a funky version of “Misty”!

SECRET LIFE (alternative jazz)

A mix of world music, jazz, pop, R&B…almost all are originals, except for “Save Your Love For Me” (remember Nancy Wilson and Cannonball? I changed it!) This project covered a transitional period of my life, and it is reflected in the songs. I used a jazz trio…Karen Hammack on piano, Chris Symer on bass, and Kendall Kay on drums...who added a great warmth to the music. Guitar on a few, some percussion, & lots of back-ground vocals… mostly by me, Lou Castro – the Producer, Cheryl Barnes, and Alison Wedding. I love this project~~

DAY BY DAY (classic/modern jazz)

Recorded in 1995, released in 2007. Legendary guitarist Joe Diorio and I recorded this beautiful heartfelt project of standards. “I Remember Clifford”, “Estate”, “How Deep Is The Ocean”, “Willow Weep for Me” are a few of the songs. Joe and I recorded in Voice-over studio, and every song Joe would say to me, “Hey Cath, let’s do this a little slower!” And that’s how we ended up with a beautiful recording of ballads!

BOHEMIAN (modern jazz)

Recorded in 2011, released in March of 2012. Korean pianist Yoonseung Cho and I went into the studio to simply document our experiences together, and in 2 days ended up with a project that fans and reviewers are calling, “An art piece!” and “NPR jazz!”. Originals, jazz compositions…the songs are stated and then a magical duo improvisation occurs! Critical Jazz online says, “The vibe of artistic integrity coupled with honest emotion for a captivating experience.”


Recorded in 2012, released in October 2013. A unique group, both in formation and performance, reflects their name! Gary Fukushima on electric keyboard, Jeff Richman on guitar, Chuck Manning on tenor sax, and Brad Dutz on percussion. Performing originals, 1 standard, 4 jazz composers’ songs…including Cathy’s lyrics to John Abercrombie’s “Hippityville”… this is not your standard vocalist recording; a very adventurous outing!

NEVER FORGOTTEN (jazz approach to various styles)

A DVD/CD set documentary of Cathy and the legendary guitarist Ted Greene. Audio from 1976 and 1998, and video from 2000 at Rocco’s, which was at the time the only venue existing in L.A. for modern jazz. I am so honored to have these recordings with Ted, he was a dear friend to many people, including me. I met Ted in 1976 in the jazz club Donte's in L.A.. I had heard about him while I was attending Berklee College, and when we met, we started playing together. I was one of the only singers he worked with.