Judi Marie Canterino

The Swing Jazz Singer



Half Note Jazz Festivals is a non profit dedicated to the cultural rarsing the Curtural awareness of Jazz Music. By contributing to our first Half Note Jazz Festival. We will be featuring Judi Marie Canterino, ” The Last Swing Singer”. SwingJazzSinger.com

Also the first Half Note jazz Festival will be in New York on the 23rd of march in honor Mike Canterino the founder of the Half Note Club. We aim to host more Jazz Festivals ‘On a regular basis’. 

Also we will be releasing LIVE Recordings, off the stage of the Half Note Club trom Mike’s BAG the personal collection of Mike Canterino. was they are transfered to digital format . 

About Judi Marie Canterino

Swing Jazz Singer

If Dreams Come True 

Jazz singing is touching a new high with all the new ones coming in the field and making a lot of innovation in the field. Back in the day when there were only a few jazz singers and who are also not much innovative with their craft Judie Marie Canterino the last Swing Jazz Singer was the one who  started it all with a new twist. Judi Marie Canterino Marie was schooled by Lennie Tristano, and Judi Marie Canterino today the last of the Swing Jazz Singers, had the honor to listen to all the amazing instrumentalists who played at The Half Note Club. Judi Marie Canterino is one of those people who sing in natural style and work her skills in the most efficient manner. Judi Marie the Swing Jazz Singer is always relaxed and enjoying herself while singing in her natural style of a Swing Jazz Singer. 

Judi Marie  Canterino started working with Lennie Tristano, one of the most noted pianists of her era, in 1958 due to a saxophonist Souren Baronian. Judi Marie Canterino sang  along with solo musicians like Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, and Louis Armstrong. Judi Marie Canterino working on her vocals also sang along with singers. Lester Young, who was best known as “Prez” became Judie Marie’s favorite. Judi Marie Canterino the last Of the Swing Jazz Singers  made her debut singing a duet with Billie Holiday at The Half Note Club.Judi Marie related with her style the most. Judi Marie Canterino was conversant with the big bands at that time, she could still relate to it. Todays Swing Jazz Singer Judi Marie Canterino used to listen to Fats Domino, The Platters, and Elvis. According to her succinct summation, “I went from Presley to Prez.”

The Half Note Club was run by the Canterino brothers, Mike and Sonny, and their parents. They invited Lenny Tristano to the club to play, and they had a friendly relationship with Tristano, so much so that they would help him pick a piano. “I started Jazz music (at the club) because I was a great fan of the art,” said Michael Canterino, Judi Marie’s husand, and a jazz promoter. “The Half Note used to be a family restaurant. I got a Coca Cola box and put a singer on it for our first bandstand”.

Judi Marie was always involved with jazz music, and she was known for her unique and a  swing jazz style that is steeped in a rich Musical History. Judi Marie Canterino started her musical training at the age of seven with the classical piano. She used to perform at the Julliard School of Music through her thirteenth year but then turned her efforts to voice training classically through high school.

Judi Marie I was introduced with jazz at the age of 19 years old. She was so much interested in jazz singing that she visited the club and then became a regular the club. Judi Marie was introduced to the late Lennie Tristano who was a renowned jazz pianist and known to be a genius in is field. Judi Marie used to go to The Half Note Club on regular basis and develop a cordial bond with the family who owned the Half Note Club, It was a happy place and they shared good relationship with every customer and singer who visited the Half Note club. Judi Marie became a Canterino when got close with one of the Canterino brothers, Michael Canterino. Judi Marie  ended up marrying Mike Canterino the founder of the Half Note Club. 

When it was the early stages of her career, Judi Marie used to sit-in at The Half Note and sing with jazz greats like Zoot Sims, Wes Montgomery, Buddy Tate, Jimmy Rushing, Bud Johnson, Ross Tompkins, Milt Hinton, Doc Cheethum, Major Holly, Al Cohen, Roy Eldridge, Bobby Hackett, Jim Rushing and many more.

She learned under the mentorship of many great musicians, and she has been under the influence of many great singers as well, including Sinatra, Jimmy Rushing, Anita O’ Day, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, and Maxine Sullivan.  

In 1961-62, Judie Marie studied jazz again with Tristano, but she became a mother and performed her motherly duties with devotion. The Swing Jazz Singer stopped performing for many years while she raised her son, Michael Jr.  She still made time to  perform at Scarborough Fair’s Restaurant and Marketplace with John Colliano on piano, Russel George on Electric Violin, and Jerry Bruno on bass fiddle.  Judi Marie Canterino shared the stage in 1969 with Judy Garland in Greenwich Village at the Half Note club; as it turned out later, it was Garland’s final public appearance s Garland died shortly after this performance.

Judie Marie, however, kept on singing, and she filled the Scarborough Fair’s Restaurants & Marketplace in Bronxville on Friday night with her sweet singing of jazz music. Judi Marie  was a fan favorite, so she kept coming back. John Byrne, who owned one of the most popular restaurant and gourmet shop at the 65 Ponfield Road since 1987, said that she was loved by people, and that is why she was  always called back by him.  

Judi Marie used to appear regularly at Scarborough Fair’s Restaurant & Marketplace with her Half Note club All-stars for almost many years. Judi Marie the Swing Jazz Singer used to appear on Thursdays at Zio Cocconato in Larchmont and Saturdasy in Saxon Grill in White Plains on weekly basis. Judi Marie appeared in a jazz program at the Helen Hayes Theater in Nyack.

“Judi Marie just has a very cool sound, terrific to listen to especially on hot summer night,” said Jim Moore of Yonkers, who was a fan and a friend. “Judi Marie brings back the sounds of the old jazz greats,” he added. Judi Marie kept on singing professionally while she was a child and also when she was an adult for more than eight decades. Judi Marie Canterino the Swing Jazz Singer is still performing Today. 

Jussi Marie the Last of the swing Jazz singers, has sang with a number of legends of the past, including Tony Bennett, Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney (Judi Marie Canterino was George Clooney’s aunty).

Judie Marie Canterino was singing in the Half Note club one night when Garland came there to listen to O’Day, which was her friend. “She just walked up to the stage and decided she wanted to sit in and sing a number,” told Canterino, a resident of the Riverdale section of the Bronx for 30 years. “She was very weak. Her legs were like toothpicks, I had to help her get on stage.” Garland had a love for music, and she made it to the microphone, and the band started playing the notes from “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which was Garland’s signature song from the 1989 classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” It was joint performance of Garland and Canterino before she was helped off the stage, and a few weeks later, Garland died in London. “It turned out to be her last appearance,” told Canterino.

Judi Marie used to love singing and never stopped, but it became a vocational thing as she sang with Teddy Wilson at Café Loup, Roy Eldridge at Jimmy Ryan’s, and Joe Venuti at Micheal’s Pub during the 70s. She was asked to sing with guitarist Joe Puma in 1989. This became a pattern of more regular activity. Judi Marie worked at the New York Hilton for three years and then appeared at the Fortune Garden with the like of Doc Chatham, Warren Vache, and Scott Hamilton. Then the venues changed into Trumpets, Shanghi  Jazz, La Bell Epoque, The Cupping Room, Michael Feinstein’s Room, the Kirano Jazz Club, the Indian Road Café. Other venues included New York Hilton, Montclari NJ, Struggles in NJ, New York’s Fortune Garden Pavilion, and Trio’s in Riverdale, NY.

Judi Marie was professionally associated to some of the great people related to jazz, including Steve Lamatina, Jerry Bruno, Jon Bunch, Conal Fowkes, Ted Firth, Kenny Daverne, Tony Careleo, Red Richards, Bucky Pizzarelli, Spanky Davis, Phil Bodner, Joe Cozuzzo, Mark Shane, Clark Terry, Chuck Folds, Norman Simmons, Scott Hamilton and Warren Vache are just to name a few. Her voice has been heard on international radio.

Judi Marie now dedicates all her performances to her late husband, Mike Canterino, with all her love. Some of her evergreens songs include “If Dreams Come True,” “Thou Swell,” “East of the Sun’” and “Bye Bye Blues.” It was phenomenal for everyone included in the performance, like the dynamite duo of father and the son Bucky and John Pizzarelli and Judi on the ‘orchestra.’

I only heard her sporadically and not heard in a long time recently. Her singing was neither too impressive nor too flat for me. When she sent me her first  CD you are now looking at or reading about or even listening too, I placed it in my player. I had really enjoyed it. It was an epiphany which I never experienced before, and I knew that she was a swing Jazz singer who sings from the heart and had knowledge and experience fused into the real article.

Some of the numbers she’s expected to perform in her rounded mezzo voice include jazz versions of, “Lady Be Good,” The You and Me That Used to Be,” “London by Night,” and “Foolin’ Myself,” which she said she learned directly from Billie Holiday one of the legends of jazz.

“Jazz is one of the musical forms that goes on and on forever,” she said. “Other styles have come along and put it in the background like rock ‘n’ roll did for many years. Now jazz is back as good as ever” and Judi Marie the Swing Jazz Singer is still singing today