Internationally acclaimed Grammy U Mentor, Billboard Charting, and ten-time Global Music Award winner Katherine ‘KOOL KAT’ Farnham is up for a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz/Latin Jazz Album” with her new release ALQUIMIA . The album features original songs and well-known favorites in Spanish and Portuguese with guest artists Nestor Torres, Latin Grammy winner and virtuoso flautist, four-time Grammy nominee and acclaimed guitarist Denny Jiosa and Brazilian recording artist Well -loved and award-winning Guinga on vocals and guitar.

Farnham says: “This project represents the culmination of many years of work. The concept is spiritual in the sense that it describes the work of perfecting the soul. Since college, I had close friends who spoke Spanish or Portuguese as their first language. In 2016 I wrote the opening song, “Tango” and in 2019 as we were finishing the Love Philosophy CD I was going through songs and realized I had enough to do a full album of latin jazz. . This CD expresses love for music and for people and reminds listeners not to lose the passion for life, even in difficult times.”

The third-generation musician and singer/songwriter/pianist just earned her sixth Global Music Award recognition for “Female Vocalist” for the album and another for one of the album’s singles, her elegant version of “Besame Mucho” with Four-Time Grammy Nominee Denny Jiosa. HG Radio in Mexico also nominated her for her singing in Spanish with “Cantante Feminine del Ano”.

Musical Memoirs Jazz says: “…a loud, joyous production…a powerful voice, a multi-talented woman. Farnham has deep roots and an early training in music. The piano line is a surprise and supports her voice in this refreshed arrangement (Besame Mucho).” Exclusive Magazine says, “vibrant earthy and totally enveloping…luscious Latin melodies…simply beautiful.” Midwest Record raves, “No stranger to high-tone notice, Farnham takes her four-octave range for a dramatic ride south of the equator in which she lines up a few Latin jazz stars to help her put that dramatic set in the foreground. With a four on the floor taking no prisoners delivery, Farnham brings all the tango strum and drang et al can offer, including a generous dollop of his own special sauce. Sets like this define “performance”.

On ALQUIMIA, Farnham recorded his first duet “A Vox do Mundo”. It features Farnham on vocals and piano and Guinga singing and adding Brazilian-style acoustic guitar. The song is a tribute to his friend, late journalist, radio host and producer Toninho Spessoto. The song is a moving tribute to a man who supported both Brazilian and American jazz.

Guinga is a well known and beloved artist from Rio de Janeiro who wrote songs for famous Brazilian singer Elis Regina as well as Michel Legrand and others. At 13, Guinga taught himself to play the guitar. Later, he formally studied music, including five years of classical guitar lessons with the famous Jodacil Damasceno. Guinga started composing music at the age of 16, and by 17 he had already qualified one of his compositions for the Festival Internacional da Cano (International Song Festival). By the time he became a professional musician, Guinga was already accompanying famous Brazilian artists such as Clara Nunes, Beth Carvalho, Alade Costa, Cartola and Joo Nogueira, among others. His songs have been recorded by Elis Regina, Michel Legrand, Srgio Mendes, Leila Pinheiro, Chico Buarque, Clara Nunes and Ivan Lins.

The four-octave singer and classically trained Farnham has also recorded with legendary saxophonist and Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, Grammy nominee Mindi Abair and Grammy winner and Blues Hall of Famer Darrell Leonard. She has appeared on Good Morning America, NBC 6, and Telemundo and has toured the United States and overseas. She performed to a sold-out venue at the Hub City Jazz Festival in New Jersey and on stage with Latin jazz greats Tito Puente Jr and Celia Cruz. She has even inspired audiences with her courage at major sporting events such as the Ericsson Open (only female artist), the Miami Marathon, and NASCAR national dates.

Katherine is one of the youngest recipients of the Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. (Other recipients include Colin Powell, Wonder Woman artist Lynda Carter, and actress Dee Wallace.) She also earned Los Angeles Music Award nominations for “Best Jazz Artist” and “Americana: Blues & Roots Artist.” and was selected as “Best Female Singer/Songwriter” in the quarter-century history of the Los Angeles Music Awards and also won a Las Vegas Counter Culture Award for “Best Jazz Performer”, among others. For the album Love Philosophy, she won the Global Music Awards for “Jazz/Emerging Artist” and “Jazz/Blues Song” as well as five other awards for “Female Vocalist” (English and Spanish) and one for “Songwriter”.

Farnham is no stranger to singing in Spanish as she was chosen to represent Miami-Dade County in Florida as the artist and writer behind the Miami Unity theme song. For this project, she was recognized by the Recording Academy as well as the mayor who included her song in his radio and television public service announcements with a message of ethnic unity.

A third-generation musician, Farnham began performing as a first lady in a play at the age of five and gave her first vocal jazz solo performance a few months later. She studied with her mother, a concert pianist and vocal coach at the Santa Fe Opera. Her debut album sold and her subsequent discography garnered interviews and broadcasts in the United States, Canada, Europe, in South America and Africa, as well as rave reviews in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


by Katherine Farnham
Latin jazz recording

Best Latin/Jazz Jazz Album

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Jack L. Goldstein