Linda Solotaire is a vocal artist, band leader, curator, and teaching artist. She is currently working on a collection of songs by Thelonius Monk with her collaborator/arranger Stu Greenspan. Their first project Dreams of You: the Sun, the Moon, and Johnny Mercer, embracing the dreamy world of one of America’s finest lyricists was met with critical acclaim. Her other band Songs of Love & Hate, features re-imaginings of songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, the Velvet Underground and others. Performances may be infused with originals, spoken word and projection. Songs of Love & Hate is a joyous collaboration with Chris Bernhardt on bass & vocals, Fred Simon on keys, Dave Onderdonk on guitars, Mike Levin on reeds and various percussionists. She enjoys remounting her Speakeasy Show (featuring music of the 1910’s & 20’s) as well as her straight ahead jazz ensemble, the Linda Solotaire Quintet.
Linda is classically trained in music, theatre, and dance and began her career as an actress in the late 1970s. As a vocal artist, she is most deeply influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee, Abbey Lincoln, Sheila Jordan, and Judy Garland. While the Great American Songbook is at the heart of her repertoire, she strives to infuse her sets with more obscure, contemporary and original songs.
Linda studied dance, voice, music and acting. She studied acting with William Hickey at HB Studios in NYC, and she studied voice with Typhanie Monique, Carol Loverde and others in Chicago. She received her BA from Columbia College Chicago. With a background in theory, classical, and 20th-century music, Linda has enjoyed roles in musical theater and in studio session work, and she has collaborated on original works with artists including conductor/composer Carmen Helena Téllez, playwright/composer Thomas Weber, new music composer Christopher Preissing, http://nonopera.org/NON:op Opera Company, Small Fish Radio, Local Infinities creators Meghan Strell & Charlie Levin, and poet/composer Everette Howe.
Linda was invited to join Actors Equity Association in 1984. Since then, she has had principal roles in scores of theatrical and on-camera projects ranging from Catherine in O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra to Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, from commercial industrial videos and multimedia to surreal collaborative films. She frequently works as a voice-over talent as well, and has performed in a variety of performance situations and venues around the world.
Dedicated to the democratization of the arts, Linda teaches music and theatre to children, mentors burgeoning artists and works to raise arts awareness whenever possible.
Musicians with whom Linda has performed: Harrison Bankhead, John Beard, Chris Bernhardt, Bret Benteler, James Cornolo, Jim Cox, Fred Faller, Tim Fitzpatrick, Pat Flemming, Jim Gailloreto, Lise Gilly, John Goldman, Phill Gratteau, Chris Greene, Stu Greenspan, Stephen Hashimoto, Jeremy Kahn, John William Lauler, Jean-Christophe Leroy, Michael Levin, Bob Lovecchio, Dennis Luxion, Shawn Maxwell, Doug MacDonald, Donovan Mixon, Diana Mosquera, Tommy Muellner, Joe Policastro, Abigail Riccards, James Sanders, Zoey Szmulewitz, Benjamin Scholz, Paul Abella, Fred Simon, Steve Strunk, Daniel Tabion, Daniel Thatcher, Leandro Lopez Varady, Chris White and Saalik Ziyad.
Trivia: Linda has performed at the Lake Placid Olympic Arena, in ancient Turkish ruins, and on the deck of a battleship in the Mediterranean Sea.