It's not often that international jazz critics and festivals turn their attention to artists from Fresno. But Central California vocalist Karen Marguth is the exception to that rule. In 2010, veteran jazz critic Christopher Loudon called Marguth "one of the finest American jazz vocalists" in a JazzTimes article about the singer. Loudon continued, saying "it’s high time that Marguth advanced to her rightful place on national and international stages."
Her new album "A Way With Words: Karen Marguth Sings the Songs of Carroll Coates" is garnering similar praise from top publications. The double cd set recently received a four star review by the esteemed jazz magazine Downbeat, and was also featured in the French publication Jazz Magazine.
It features Marguth and her band tackling the creative songwriting of Coates, who has been the scribe of choice for artists including Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett. The album also features a number of Fresno musicians, including mandolinist Eva Scow, and Gilbert Castellanos, a former Fresno resident, on trumpet. Coates is the author of songs such as "London By Night," "No One Ever Tells You," and "Afterglow."
Marguth visited Valley Public Radio's Bonner Performing Arts Studio for a live interview and performance, with special guests Darrel Devaurs piano, Rick Canfield drum, and Robert Ruffner trombone. We talked about her career, working with an iconic songwriter in Coates, and much more.