The Beegie Adair Trio featuring Monica Ramey
May 10, 2018
Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club
7719 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Playing with the Beegie Adair Trio will be Roger Spencer on bass and Marcus Finnie on drums.
Jazz great Helen Merrill salutes her “inventive jazz sense, her wonderful sense of time and improvised melody.” Michael Feinstein calls her“a marvelously understated player whose interpretations of standards are just brilliant,"
Christopher Louden of Jazz Times magazine says Adair is “an accomplished artist with a delicate touch.” The Los Angeles Times calls her music “Elegant.” Entertainment News writes, “Beegie Adair is one of the finest piano players in the world” while guitarist Anthony Wilson says “Beegie has the confidence and wisdom to dispense with anything that would interfere with the telling of her story, so what she communicates feels very direct, very honest.”
Beegie Adair’s sophisticated jazz performances have made her recordings among the biggest sellers in the jazz genre. With 2 million albums sold and sold out performances internationally, the Beegie Adair Trio is one of the most successful working groups in the world.
Beegie Adair grew up in Cave City, Kentucky, earned a B.S. in Music Education at Western State University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and spent three years teaching music to children before moving to Nashville, where she became a session musician, working at WSM-TV and on The Johnny Cash Show (1969-71). A sought-after studio musician in her early days there, Adair accompanied such legendary performers as Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Lucille Ball, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, Mama Cass Elliott and Peggy Lee.
Ms. Adair cites George Shearing, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner among her influences; Adair has appeared on over 100 albums (34 of which are studio recordings with her trio), ranging from Cole Porter standards to Frank Sinatra classics to romantic World War II ballads. Her 6-CD Centennial Composers Collection of tunes by Rodgers, Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Carmichael and Berlin became an instant collectible classic upon its release.
Her first live album, “The Real Thing,” spent over 12 weeks in the Top 20 on the JazzWeek charts and was named one of the “Top 100 Best Jazz Albums” of 2012. With over 2 million albums sold, the Beegie Adair Trio is one of the most successful, respected working trios in the world.
In the late 80s, Beegie hosted Improvised Thoughts, a popular radio talk/music show on the local NPR affiliate, featuring local and international jazz artists including such greats as Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson and Helen Merrill. She has guested on McPartland’s internationally known Piano Jazz show twice and has performed with Nat Adderley, Bill Watrous, Lew Tabackin, Terry Clarke, Urbie Green and Jim Ferguson, among many others. In 2002, Beegie joined one of the most exclusive rosters in the world when she became a Steinway Artist. An honor only bestowed upon 1,600 pianists in the world including Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr., Michael Legrand, Billy Joel and the "immortals" like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.
She and her trio continue to play in jazz clubs and festivals around the world and was the top selling jazz artist in Japan in 2010. Since 2011, Beegie has received a very warm welcome from her fans in New York, with her multiple appearances at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, with her trio and vocalist Monica Ramey and Feinstein's/54 Below with Monica Ramey. In January 2017, the Trio sold out its debut at London’s famous Pizza Express jazz club. Her solo concerts at Steinway & Sons galleries across the United States sell out within days and attract fans from all around the world. The Beegie Adair Trio's sold out Carnegie Hall debut performance on October 7th, 2016 was the first appearance by a Nashville-based jazz trio in Carnegie's history.
"There was a brief period in the late 1950s and very early ’60s when Capitol sagely paired George Shearing with a succession of the label’s top vocalists, including Peggy Lee, Dakota Staton, Nancy Wilson and Nat King Cole. The results were uniformly wonderful, setting a standard for sophistication that has, until now, never quite been equaled. But in Monica Ramey and Beegie Adair, Shearing and company have finally met their match.” -Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
“The pairing of Beegie and Monica is a master class on how to interpret timeless songs with style, taste and a swinging contemporary sensibility.” — Michael Feinstein
This kind of reaction is a reoccurring theme in the case of Midwest native Monica Ramey and artists like Michael Feinstein, Beegie Adair, Anthony Wilson, Jeff Coffin, Donna McElroy, Jim Ferguson, Denis Solee, Jeff Steinberg, Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, George Tidwell and Sandra Dudley are just a few who are singing her praise.
Monica is a native of Francesville, one of Indiana’s smallest towns. The youngest of three children, her father is a retired farmer and her mother a retired music teacher. As a child, Monica would sing and dance on stage with her mother’s high school show choir, and at the age of 3, she stood on the grand piano at the school’s cabaret and performed Tomorrow from the musical, Annie. By the age of 11, she had become well known in Indiana after starring in several local and professional Broadway musical productions. As a teenager, she studied at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, and in 1995, Monica was selected to become a member of the GRAMMY National All American High School Jazz Band and Choir.
This break would become one of the most important opportunities in Monica's life. Being one of 12 selected nationally for the choir, Monica had little jazz experience, but while performing with some of the music industry's finest, she discovered the impact of jazz music in her own life and in our society. The responsibility all performers have to its preservation and authenticity left a profound and lasting impact on her.
Monica studied Music Performance at Indiana State University and was a member of the ISU Jazz Singers. She became a favorite singer among many faculty members and even the President of the university. This led to many performances at university functions and sporting events. She interned for the NARAS Foundation in Los Angeles, where the preservation of jazz music became a focal point of her responsibilities.
In 2000, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing career, where she discovered the Nashville Jazz Workshop. NJW has given Monica the opportunity to study under some of Nashville finest musicians including Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, Sandra Dudley, Beegie Adair, Jeff Steinberg, Rod McGaha, Jim Ferguson, Roy Agee, Annie Sellick as well as create a family away from home.
On her debut album, Make Someone Happy, Monica is joined by the Lori Mechem Trio and special guest, Beegie Adair. This special project hosts many standard tunes with horn arrangements by Denis Solee and two original tunes by Lori Mechem, Beegie Adair and Hal Stephens. Produced by Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer and Sandra Dudley, the album captures the finest example of Monica's musical capabilities at this point in her career. Make Someone Happy is receiving international airplay on jazz radio, Pandora, Music Choice and DMX to name a few.
Her second album, Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio, accentuates the undeniable chemistry of one of the world’s most successful jazz trios (Beegie Adair, piano; Roger Spencer, bass; Chris Brown, drums) with a vocalist (Ramey) who elegantly interweaves lush, lyrical sophistication to an already immaculate musical conversation. Produced by Adair and Spencer, the album also features on two of the trio and Rameyâ€™s most endeared musical mates, jazz masters George Tidwell and Denis Sole, on several tracks. The result is the introduction and re-introduction of some of jazz's most beloved and forgotten songs and the introduction of an original tune, co-written by Adair. ��
Her third album, Some Enchanted Evening, is her dream project; a piano/vocal duo album with Beegie Adair. The album, released in April 2016, features some of the greatest Broadway tunes ever written like SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, MY FUNNY VALENTINE and SOME ENCHANTED EVENING. This album was produced by Ms. Adair’s long-time producer, Jack Jezzro, and released by Green Hill Music and Burton Avenue Music.
Monica performs regularly in various venues, festivals and private events throughout the U.S. including the legendary Birdland, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Nashville Jazz Workshop and many others. When not studying or performing, Monica enjoys spending time with her friends, her family, traveling and gardening. Monica supports various animal and human rights organizations.