Singer/actress, Chris Calloway, is heir to an American musical legacy.
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Her father, Cab Calloway, the "King of Hi-De-Ho", was a world-famous legend, with his unique Big Band sound and his skatty style of flamboyant jazz.
Blanche Calloway (Cab's sister) , was one of the first female band leaders to front an all-male band in 1929, and was instrumental in launching her brother's career.
The honoring of this rich and enduring musical tradition is the concept and heart of Chris' current performance project: "Celebration of a Legacy."
Chris' career began on the Ed Sullivan Show with an introduction to the world by her dad, some 30 years ago. The majority of the past 20 years Chris has spent performing with her father and his Hi-De-Ho Orchestra. Together as a father/daughter team, they toured the US, Europe, South America, Japan and Australia.
From her humble beginnings as a "singing" hat-check girl at New York's Improvisation, the Catsklll Mountains circuit, and a brief stint with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, her Broadway career began with the acclaimed all-black production of "Hello, Dolly", starring Pearl Bailey and her dad, followed by a significant nine-month tour with the musical review "Eubie", and then onto Hollywood where she hosted her own radio talk and music shows. She was one of the first black dj's In the LA market.
As an actress, Chris appeared for one year on the NBC soap opera, "The Doctors," playing the mysterious Ivey Goodlng, co-starring with Alec Baldwin and John Panko. Her portrayal of the Jazz legend, Billie Holiday, in Lannie Robertson's play, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill", took her from Alabama to the Edinburgh Arts Festival: from Dallas, Texas, to a tour of England: Winnipeg, Canada to Sarasota, Florida, and finally to Santa Fe Stages International Theatre Festival.
Settling in New Mexico, Chris became Santa Fe's "reigning Diva of the Night", performing at the major hotels and lounges, perfecting her unique singing style and structuring the material for "Celebration of a Legacy."
The bulk of the music Chris sings In "Celebration of Legacy" has been written or recorded by her aunt, Blanche Calloway, and her father, Cab Calloway.
The balance of the material comes from the rich musical tradition of Harlem in the 1930's and 40's, and The Cotton Club.
1998 marks 70 years of show business history for the Calloway family. Chris Calloway was born into and grew up within this legacy. She is original yet authentic within this style and has earned her place in her family's tradition.
She has God-given talent and her own legacy of a 20 year direct association with her legendary father. Her music comes forth through her classic interpretation of her family's musical history.
She has the skill, training and experience to "take the baton" and continue this world-famous style of entertaining into the 21st Century.
Chris believes it is time for "loving who you are and honoring where you come from." So for her.
It is relevant to close the 20th Century with a heart-felt look back... and Celebrate her Legacy.
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