Lucy Woodward | Artists | GroundUP Music

Lucy Woodward

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featuring...
Henry Hey Keys
Cory Henry Organ
Michael League Bass
Tim Lefebvre Bass
Brian Delaney Drums
Zach Danziger Drums
Chris McQueen Guitar
Michael League Guitar
Alan Ferber Horns
Mike "Maz" Maher Horns
Chris Bullock Horns
Jay Jennings Horns
Chris Cheek Horns
Nick Marchione, Horns
Natalie Cressman Horns
Everett Bradley Background vocals
Neal Coomer Background vocals
Bridget Cady Background vocals
Dave Eggar Strings
Katie Kresek Strings
Hiroko Taguchi Strings
Todd Low Strings

Lucy Woodward Bio

Born in London, Lucy spent her childhood in New York and Holland. She is the daughter of two classical musicians - her father a conductor and composer, her mother an opera singer, musicologist, teacher and bellydancer. No matter which household she was living in, she was "always music-making and creating."

Fresh out of school, she was singing jazz in NYC's West Village for tips, singing in cover bands and writing songs before signing with Atlantic Records (2003) -a time period that saw her score a Top 40 hit with "Dumb Girls" and another Top 5 hit she wrote for Stacie Orrico called "(There's Gotta Be) More to Life", earning her 2 BMI Awards. With her debut record in tow, she toured the US, Japan and New Zealand and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

But Woodward had no desire to be a pop starlet: her follow-up, the jazzier, punchier indie record Lucy Woodward is...Hot and Bothered was released in 2008 which "shed new light" on music-making again. Hot and Bothered was inspired by her days at Manhattan School of Music, lots of Etta James and the 1967 classic animated film The Jungle Book bringing her back to her bluesy roots. Billboard described how "Lucy's a ball, equally appreciable for fans of melodic sing-along baubles and highbrow aficionados of finely honed musical composition. A sonic turnstile that flips through dreamy pop, jazz and bluesy bebop".

This, in turn, was followed by Hooked!, an album of Brill Building meets Big Band songs, released on Verve/Universal (2010) -- which was largely produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie). The album effortlessly moves across multiple genres, including gypsy-swing, jazz and rhythm & blues. Along with her self-penned compositions, the album showcases Lucy's stunning covers of Peggy Lee's Cuban-inspired "Sans Souci" and an a cappella Hoagy Carmichael classic, "Stardust." Nellie McKay, who Lucy had always been a hardcore fan of, wrote a song for her called "Another Woman" which Lucy recorded on Hooked! as well (featuring Nellie on background vocals).

In 2012, Lucy was asked to tour as a band member filling in for the lead singer of Pink Martini learning songs in Turkish, French Croatian, Japanese and Spanish with 6 days notice. Lucy's dates with Pink Martini varied from Montreal Jazz Fest to singing with the San Francisco Symphony for several performances. That same year, Lucy has also toured overseas sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, performing for American military units stationed in Spain, Italy and Turkey.

Lucy met Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael League, who played bass in her NYC band at the time. She started opening for Snarky Puppy (with them as her backing band) and was featured on Snarky Puppy's Family Dinner, Vol. 1 album singing the hauntingly bluesy "Too Hot To Last", earning them their first Grammy. League and longtime friend keyboardist/arranger Henry Hey (Forq, Rudder, David Bowie) co-produced her fourth solo album Til They Bang on The Door, which was released on GroundUP/Verve/Universal in 2016. The album features the Snarky Puppy horns, Cory Henry on organ and Grammy nominees trombonist Alan Ferber and cellist Dave Eggar as well as many other musicians in their NYC community. She continues to tour with Snarky Puppy and Forq.

In 2017, she debuted her material with Big Band arrangements from two of her albums performing at Aarhus Jazz Festival and Jam Days with TipToe Big Band in Denmark, Holland and in Los Angeles with The Dave Richards Big Band. In early 2018, Lucy toured with The Charlie Hunter Trio, a band consisting of just guitar, percussion and vocals and will record later in the year.

In addition to her solo career, Woodward toured with Rod Stewart for many years singing background vocals. She has also sung on albums by Celine Dion, Nikka Costa, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Joe Cocker and Snarky Puppy. Her songs and vocals have been heard in movies including What a Girl Wants, The Blind Side, Music and Lyrics, New Year's Eve, First Daughter, Last Vegas and Disney's Ice Princess, with her rendition of Bjork/Betty Hutton big band cover "It's Oh So Quiet."

She will be touring in the US and Europe throughout 2018.

Music

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Lucy Woodward & The Rocketeers (2024)

LUCY WOODWARD is going big with this new project of hers, Lucy Woodward & The Rocketeers. Big as in the size of the band, which numbers 18, and big as in potential, and range. Throughout her career, Lucy has mixed genres, genre-bending if you will. And with this jazz orchestra, she pulls vibes from icons of jazz and pulsing vibrations from the then to the now and future music makers. Pushing the music forward is a worldwide collection of musicians from countries like Spain, Italy, and Ghana, all seriously helping to break the mold of the traditional Big Band.

Music-driven movement is within Lucy Woodward’s life force. Born in London to classical musicians and traveling since Day One, okay, maybe a few days after that. Her childhood was spent traveling between The Netherlands, where her father lived after her parents separated, and her hometown of New York, where she lived with her mother, growing up on a steady diet of Chopin and American music, the background of her NYC soundtrack she found in countless New York bodegas, on basketball courts, and the boomboxes of Breakdancers.

Like many others, Lucy started her singer/songwriter career busking in NYC coffee shops and countless cover bands. This “apprenticeship” landed Lucy with a contract at a major label, Atlantic Records, in the early 2000s, with her tracks landing on top 40 radio, earning her two BMI Music Awards. She has since left the pop world, endearing herself to a larger, more diverse audience, recording an album on Verve produced by the legendary Tony Visconti (Bowie) and collaborating with Snarky Puppy in the studio and live, most recently opening up for them at London’s Royal Albert Hall alongside guitar virtuoso Charlie Hunter. She recorded two albums of intriguing covers with Charlie, backed by extensive international touring. Pink Martini enlisted her as a temporary sub for China Forbes, with Lucy learning their repertoire of Croatian,

Turkish, Spanish, French, and Japanese songs on a few days' notice. She has guest appeared with European jazz orchestras such as WDR Big Band, Danish Radio Big Band and Frankfurt Radio Big Band. She has also sung vocals for Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and Chaka Khan and has graced several movie soundtracks, including blockbusters The Blind Side, Last Vegas, What a Girl Wants, Birds Of Prey, and, with her version of the Bjork classic “It’s Oh So Quiet,” on Disney’s The Ice Princess.

This debut album of Lucy Woodward & The Rocketeers was recorded live in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the city’s iconic hall, LantarenVenster. Lucy produced the sessions with Louk Boudesteijn, founder of the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra and Bonsai Panda. The Rocketeers' rhythm section is comprised of Jelle Roozenburg (guitar), Niek de Bruijn (drums), and Udo Pannekeet (bass), who have been Lucy’s touring band for years, performing with her at internationally renowned festivals such as the Istanbul Jazz Fest and Athens Jazz, as well as touring together throughout Europe. On the road, their musical chemistry and immense trust in each other’s abilities have gelled into something deeply organic, telepathic, and thrilling.

The compositions and arrangements for this project fully employ Lucy’s full range and are vibrantly pushed forward by the players’ ambitions, consummate skills, and unbiased personalities. Lucy, a powerhouse singer whose soulful, impeccably controlled vocals can turn on a dime from runaway-train full-throttle intensity to soft, personal, and sultry whisper, takes the songs from fiery, high-energy explosions to hauntingly intimate meditations.

“Plain Gold Ring” is likewise deeply multilayered. Lucy first heard Nina Simone’s bluesy and hauntingly direct version. As arranged here by Louk Boudesteijn and Jelle Roozenburg, the track brims with uncontrolled passion, devastating heartache, and seismic emotional turbulence. “I found freedom in being able to sing it differently every night. The song fluctuates between ownership and surrendering to a situation while also lyrically being completely helplessly in love. It covers a lot of emotional ground.”

The inclusion of the Donny Hathaway song, “Tryin’ Times,” was motivated by watching the US Riots breaking out during the summer of 2020. Lucy watched in horror as the videos played on European news shows. America was burning once again; protesters were taking to the streets to fight for racial equality and justice. When Lucy was 12, her mother took her to her first peace march. So, for this project, she wanted a song that would honor that memory and her commitment to fighting for what is right, her memories of being swept away in the moment of the movement, and the renewed sense of rage sweeping through her country. “I grew up in NYC, a city which has, for me, a palpable and life-affirming pulse,” she explains. “I wanted our ‘Tryin’ Times’ to capture that energy, the conversations of the subway, people wanting to be heard in a city of millions, people’s outcry, the sound of change. I wanted to dwell in that feeling of chaos so as to bring a sense to the rage.”

Some intimate moments on the album include their hushed lullaby of “Love Me Tender.” Boudesteijn distilled the Elvis track, carefully arranging the reeds and flute, and features Alexander van Popta on piano. “Rocketeer,” Lucy’s tender hymn, is a heartfelt goodbye to old ways and well-worn paths, which became the subtext of this project. Initially, “Rocketeer” was written by Woodward and Boudesteijn for her previous 2024 release, Stories From The Dust. “I love the Big Band genre and the singers from that era; it was the pop music of the day,” says Lucy, “but I wanted us to contribute a different, boundary-breaking spin, a new wave if you will, that moves this all forward.”

Lucy Woodward & The Rocketeers did go big, and in doing so, brought it all home with this album.

1 Plain Gold Ring
2 Tryin' Times
3 Love Me Tender
4 A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
5 Rocketeer (Orchestral Version)
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Til They Bang On The Door (2016)

"So, about that album title..."

"It's the 'neighbors telling you to turn down the music' moment. It's the magical hour," explains Lucy Woodward. "It's that moment when anything can go right or wrong."

A perfect summation for Til They Bang on the Door, a slinky, brassy and decidedly sexy record that marks a bold, new direction for the singer.

Bang is the culmination of a long and decidedly varied musical journey for Woodward. The daughter of two classical musicians, the singer spent her childhood, as she puts it, "music-making and creating." Fresh out of school, she was singing jazz on Bleecker St. for tips, singing in cover bands and writing songs before signing with Atlantic Records—a time period that saw her score a Top 40 hit with "Dumb Girls" and another Top 5 hit she wrote for Stacie Orrico called "(There's Gotta Be) More to Life."

But Woodward had no desire to be a pop starlet: her follow-up, the jazzier Lucy Woodward is...Hot and Bothered, produced by Itaal Shur (Santana, Maxwell) and Tim K (Tiny Hearts) was released in a unique indie arrangement with Barnes and Noble. This, in turn, was followed by Hooked!, an album of Brill Building meets swing-styled songs, released on Verve and produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex).

Along the way, Woodward toured as a band member filling in for the lead singer of Pink Martini. She has also recorded with Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Carole King, and Joe Cocker. Her songs and vocals have been heard in movies including What a Girl Wants, The Blind Side, Music and Lyrics, First Daughter and Ice Princess, featuring the Betty Hutton/Bjork classic "It's Oh So Quiet."

Bang marks Woodward's long-awaited solo return, her first album in six years. "It took a while, but I knew where I wanted to go with this record," she says. "And I knew who I wanted to work with."

Looking for "crazy, low brass instrumentation with feminine vocals," she paired up with an all-star recording cast, featuring co-producer Michael League (Snarky Puppy), co-producer/ keyboardist extraordinaire Henry Hey (David Bowie, George Michael), engineer/mixer Nic Hard, organist Cory Henry and core musicians from Snarky Puppy. "I loved collaborating with some of the best musicians in New York who also happen to be dear friends. I've worked with them all over the years," she says. "I had been touring with Snarky Puppy which is what sparked the whole concept. In pretty much one Skype conversation with Henry, Mike and I, we knew where this was going to go. I wanted to surf on a wave of horns."

Lyrically, the record is Woodward's most dramatic, offering moments of both melancholia and wild abandon. "Much of Bang is me coming out of a breakup and not having the money for therapy," she says, laughing. "It's being not quite ready for another relationship and seeing the beauty within that stage, too. But hey, I've always written sad love songs, even when I was 12, before I even knew what love songs really were."

The unfolding romantic twists and turns Woodward embraces on Bang is matched by the dramatic fits in her music: opening with the Shirley Bassey-style "Ladykiller," the album segues into upbeat pop (first single "Kiss Me Mister Histrionics") and one guaranteed live singalong "Be My Husband" (recorded with the ever-soulful Everett Bradley) before ending—like the moment after a big storm settles—with the beautiful piano ballad "Free Spirit."

You may recognize a few tracks: Ruth Brown's "I Don't Know" has been part of Woodward's live arsenal for years, as well as a new take on "Too Hot to Last," featuring a trombone choir as a backdrop for the piece. Originally the song was performed by Woodward with Snarky Puppy on their 2013 Grammy-winning Family Dinner (Volume 1) album.

Bang is Woodward's first release on GroundUP Music, the breakthrough indie label started by Michael League (a co-producer on Bang). "Being on GroundUP is no comparison to anything else I've ever done," she says. "There's no A&R person saying "Do this or do that." We all just want each other to be happy. We all have this idea that as long as the vibe is great, and with the right dynamic, anything is possible."

Woodward plans to hit the road soon, performing for one of the most diverse fan bases in modern music. "I can see an audience growing with me," she says. "When I play live, there are fans from 10 or 15 years ago bringing their kids. But now, I've been exposed a bit more to the jazz world and from working with Rod Stewart and they are all incredibly supportive."

"I've never worked so hard in my life!" she admits, after juggling tours with Rod Stewart and running home to finish recording the album the past couple of years. "Four records in, and I can tell you, it's been a rollercoaster. But what other choice do I have? You have to love, love, love what you do so much. And I do. It's kinda cool that I still surprise myself."

Not leaving her with time for a lot of those, well, "magical hours."

1 Ladykiller
2 Kiss Me Mister Histrionics
3 Be My Husband (featuring Everett Bradley)
4 I Don't Know
5 Interlude Hush
6 Too Hot To Last
7 Never Enough
8 Live Live Live
9 Free Spirit
10 Interlude Afterglow
11 If This Were A Movie
12 The World We Knew (Over And Over)
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Hooked! (2010)

1 He Got Away
3:55
2 Sans Souci
4:06
3 Purple Heart
4:08
4 I Wan'na Be Like You
4:16
5 Another Woman
3:34
6 Babies
3:59
7 Slow Recovery
4:37
8 Ragdoll
4:01
9 This Empty Room
3:46
10 Too Much To Live For
3:49
11 Leave It To You
3:30
12 Stardust
2:33
13 Fashion
3:41
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Lucy Woodward is Hot & Bothered (2008)

1 Love Is Gonna Getcha
3:25
2 Use What I Got
4:06
3 Slow Recovery
4:33
4 Submarine Love
4:15
5 You Found Me Out
4:18
6 Hot And Bothered
4:13
7 What I Can Do
4:04
8 Geographical Cure
4:10
9 Sugar
3:59
10 Too Much To Live For
3:45
11 Don't Wanna Love Again
3:49
12 I Won't Care
5:10

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