Catherine Whitney

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Catherine Whitney
Catherine Whitney.jpg
circa 2006
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, Lyricist
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1990s onwards
Associated acts

Von Freeman

Freddie Hubbard

Jose Valdes

Tommy Muellner

Catherine Jane Whitney (born in Chicago, Illinois) is an American jazz singer who is Chicago-based and is not only a vocalist, but composer and lyricist as well. She sings in the "vo-cool" style similar to that of Anita O'Day and Peggy Lee. She is published by Second Floor Music in New York. She was a lyricist for the late Freddie Hubbard, jazz trumpet legend.[1]

She learned about music and jazz as a child, since her mother, Dorothy Brady, made a living as a vocalist/bandleader herself with a jazz trio known around the Chicago area in the 1950s and 1960s as "The Dottie B Three". Her stepfather was the late George E. Lescher, a pianist who played with the Spike Jones Band during World War II and was a longtime Chicago South Side resident. In later years, her stepfather led the George Lescher Ballroom Orchestra, a 10-piece band that performed at numerous sites around the Chicago area. He died in March 1986 at the age of 64 near Houston, Texas, while on tour with the Jan Garber Band. He was a lifetime member of the Chicago Federation of Musicians.[2]

Catherine began her professional jazz singing career under the mentoring of Chicago tenor saxman Von Freeman in the early 1990s.[3] Jerry Brown and Gloria Cooper have recorded her work and three songs (in collaborations with Curtis Fuller, Rodgers Grant, and Milton Sealey).[4] Most recently in October 2010 New York jazz vocalist Suzanne Pittson recorded a rendition of Freddie Hubbard's tune "Our Own" (based on "Gibraltar") which first premiered on the album "Born to Be Blue (Freddie Hubbard album)" making use of Catherine Whitney's lyrics in Pittson's latest jazz album release Out Of The Hub: The Music Of Freddie Hubbard.[5] Additional co-writing with other jazz artists as a composer/lyricist (aside from Von Freeman and Freddie Hubbard) have been Johnny Griffin, Houston Person, Clifford Jordan, Stanley Turrentine, John Coltrane, Ray Brown, and Pete Cosey. She is also a Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) affiliated writer.[6]

Besides her work in the capacity of a jazz music collaborator nationally, Catherine has performed with many great Chicago jazz legends including Von Freeman,[7] John Young, Jodie Christian, John Bany, Richie Cole (musician), Robert Shy, Tommy Muellner, Rusty Jones (musician), Jose Valdes and Johnie Faren as well as many others. She occasionally appears at various jazz clubs and venues around the Chicago area with her duo, trio or quartet.

Selected recordings[edit]

  • Project in progress

Official website[edit]


  1. ^ Website:
  2. ^ Publication: Chicago Sun-Times Date: March 22, 1986 Section: NEWS Edition: FIVE STAR SPORTS FINAL Page: 43
  3. ^
  4. ^ Publication: Hal Leonard print publication #HHL0074021 "Sing JAZZ! Leadsheets for 76 Jazz Vocals "
  5. ^ Publication: All About Jazz - New York, October 2010, No. 102, page 21 ( )
  6. ^ Website:
  7. ^ Publication:Article from Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Article date:August 28, 1998 Author:Barbara Vitello,COPYRIGHT 2009 Paddock Publications.(

External links[edit]


  • Second Floor Music Co., New York, NY, "One Heart's Dream" lyrics by Catherine Whitney, music by Rodgers Grant, 1994, 1987
  • Second Floor Music Co., New York, NY, "Sweet And True" lyrics by Catherine Whitney, music by Curtis Fuller, 1994
  • Second Floor Music Co., New York, NY, "New York Dream" lyrics by Catherine Whitney, music by Clifford Jordan, 1994
  • Hubtones Music Co., "First Light" lyrics by Catherine Whitney, music by Freddie Hubbard, 1994, 1971
  • Hubtones Music Co., "Our Own" lyrics by Catherine Whitney, music by Freddie Hubbard, 1994
  • "Sing JAZZ!" Various Vocal(Arranged by Dr. Gloria Cooper) / Published by Second Floor Music, distributed by Hal Leonard (Stock No.: HHL0074021)
  • Chicago Tribune article "Jazz Heirs Freeman Shines Among Rising Stars" August 3, 1993|By Howard Reich, Tribune Arts Critic.