Rare Silk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rare Silk
OriginBoulder, Colorado
GenresVocal jazz, swing
Years active1979–1988
LabelsPolydor, Palo Alto
Past members
  • Gaile Gillaspie
  • MaryLynn Gillaspie
  • Marguerite Juenemann
  • Todd Buffa
  • Barbara Reeves
  • Jamie Broumas

Rare Silk was an American vocal jazz group that was active during the 1980s.

MaryLynn Gillaspie and her sister, Gaile, grew up in southern California. Their father played trumpet, and from an early age they heard big band music and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1978, they were working as waitresses in Boulder, Colorado, with Gaile also singing at a local club. After they met another singer, Marguerite Juenemann, they formed Rare Silk. They sang on a local radio station and in clubs, sometimes dressed like the Andrews Sisters. [1]

In 1980, they were the opening act for Benny Goodman when he visited Boulder.[2] He admired their work and asked them to tour with him. They sang at the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, which was broadcast live on PBS. The tour included dates at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Aurex Jazz Festival in Japan. They appear with Goodman on the live album Aurex Jazz Festival ‘80: King of Swing. After their tour, they were joined by vocalist Todd Buffa.

They were discovered by a talent scout from Polydor Records and recorded their first album, New Weave, in 1983. This album was nominated for two Grammy Awards. [3] In 1984 PBS broadcast a one hour live performance shot in New Orleans, Rare Silk: Live at Duke’s Place.

Juenemann left the group after their first album and was replaced by Barbara Reeves. Reeves departed after American Eyes, and the group’s final album was recorded as a vocal trio of Buffa and the Gillaspie sisters. Jamie Broumas completed the vocal quartet from 1985-86. The band broke up in 1988.[1][2]

Later years[edit]

Marguerite Juenemann continues to perform, teach, and conduct. In 1994 she released of her first album By Whose Standards. The album NightWind, In The spirit of Fats Waller was released in 2001 featuring pianist Art Lande.[4]

As of 2016 MaryLynn Gillaspie performs with the Colorado vocal group Quirktett.[5]

Todd Buffa later taught at the University of Colorado, and released a solo album Curious Orchids in 2011. Buffa died in 2012, age 59.[6]

Jamie Broumas continued as a singer and arts manager.



  1. ^ a b c Dickson, Ellie (26 August 2015). "Gillaspie jazzes up Main Street in Louisville". Colorado Hometown Weekly. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Rare Silk". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  3. ^ https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/rare-silk
  4. ^ https://dazzledenver.com/2016/12/19/marguerite-juenemann-an-enlightening-local-gem/
  5. ^ https://www.quirktett.com/about
  6. ^ https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/greenbaypressgazette/obituary.aspx?n=todd-buffa&pid=155659612