Like many other successful musical artists, singer/pianist Carol Welsman was surrounded by music from an early age. Music was “all over the family,” she recalls, reminiscing about her childhood in Toronto, Canada. Her mother was a piano teacher; an uncle was a violinist, and her father, Carol recalls, “played clarinet and saxophone quite well.” But the family member, who had the highest visibility, many decades prior to Carol’s musical successes, was her grandfather on her father’s side. “His name was Frank S. Welsman, and he was the founder and first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.”
Carol, herself, was taking music lessons at an early age, and played contra bass and violin in high school. Her fascination with jazz was triggered by a friend who had, she says, “an incredible record collection.”
Carol Welsman’s passion for jazz led her to Boston’s Berklee College of Music in the 80s, where she majored in piano performance. She later traveled to Europe, and studied voice with Christiane Legrand (sister of Michel) and, in Paris, met Romano Musumarra (producer/songwriter for Céline Dion, Pavarotti and Garou). She became the English lyricist for Musumarra’s compositions, including a two#1 hit songs in France and Sweden. Welsman co-wrote the Ray Charles 1995 recording, “Out of my Life” and the 2006 duet “You Are My Miracle” for tenor Vittorio Grigolo and Pussycat Dolls lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger. Welsman’s debut CD Lucky To Be Me received a 1996 Juno Award nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and led to her being named Best Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year (1996) by Jazz Report Magazine. Since then, six of her ten albums to date have received Juno nominations.
“The most rewarding aspects of what has truly been a remarkable and often surprising career have been meeting artists I have long admired, like Michel Legrand, Herbie Hancock, George Benson and Stevie Wonder,” she says. “I think one of the reasons I’ve been successful in my own right is that I make a point of connecting with my audience, evoking emotion through the storytelling in song, and sharing my musical gifts with them simply because I love what I do so much. With every show I perform, I want the audience to feel like they’re sitting in my living room, being part of the latest leg of my musical journey.”