Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Segal-Garcia, Cathy, singer; b. Boston, MA, 28 May 1953. She loved jazz since the age of 5 when she would hang around with her dad (sax player Mike Segal) while she listened to and copied Ella Fitzgerald. Her mother, Natalie Segal and sisters Margy and Edie were also musical, and the family got her started on flute at the age of 10. Beginning when she was 12, she used to sing on her father's gigs. Cathy attended the Berklee School of Music from 1972 through 1975, where studied flute and Arranging and Composition.
While attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, she was concentrating so heavily on her composing and arranging studies that she had all but given up singing. But when she put together a trio at school (which included Quincy Jones' drummer John Robinson) and sang mostly for fun, she found her calling hadn't been lost. She had private studies in piano, flute and guitar. She's privately studied voice with varied teachers over many years, but the last and most complete studies were with Helen McComas; Los Angeles based master, taught under a Professor Schistroff; Russian master and disciple of Italian master and author Herbert Ceasare. After college, she moved to San Francisco for a brief period, and then to Los Angeles in late 1975, where she still resides. Her first job in Los Angeles, in 1976, was with the legendary guitarist Ted Greene. They continued to work together for a year and a half. Segal-Garcia spent most of the 80s doing small-room jazz jobs in and around Los Angeles, from Donte's to Two Dollar Bills, though she had some stellar accompanists, including pianists David Benoit and Russell Ferrante. Performing with literally hundreds of musicians, some of the more well known include Pianist Russell Ferrante (The Yellowjackets), Drummer Tom Brechtlein (Robben Ford, Chick Corea), Bassist Marc Johnson (pianist Bill Evans, John Ambercrombie, John Scoffield), Bassist Gary Willis (Scott Henderson), guitarist Ted Greene, Guitarist Jeff Richman, Guitarist Mike Miller (Chick Corea), Saxophonist Bob Sheppard (Steeley Dan), Drummer Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Stan Kenton, Steeley Dan, and many modern jazz recording artists), Pianist Kei Akagi (Miles Davis), Drummer Joey Barron (Bill Frisell, John Scoffield), Studio pianist Mike Lang, Singer/pianist Diana Krall, Drummer John Robinson (Quincy Jones), Pianist David Benoit, Pianist Billy Childs, Drummer Joey Heredia (Scott Henderson, Tania Maria), Flautist Sam Most, Pianist Carl Schroeder, head of the piano department at Musicians Institute in Hollywood (Sarah Vaughn), Trumpeter Bill Berry, Saxophonist Don Menza, Pianist Dave Mackay, Guitarist John Pisano and more.
She's taught at A.I.M. American Institute of Music (Vienna, Austria) 1991, the Musician's Institute (Hollywood, CA) 1992-1995, Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, CA 2000, California State University Long Beach 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, Sho Kosugi Institute (SKI) in Studio City, CA. 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and at South Pasadena High School, in South Pasadena, CA 2003. She's presently teaching at home studio in North Hollywood, CA. She's also taught Master Classes, clinics, workshops, and seminars 1985-2003. She delivered a jazz vocal clinic at the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) convention in New York City.
She's been hired throughout the years for in-the-studio coaching for such things as Mary Kaye Bergman, official voice of SnowWhite for Disney Studios, producing vocalist's demos and records. From 1997-2003, she's held workshops every month at home studio featuring various guest clinicians including Jay Clayton, Judy Neimack, Carmen Lundy, Ruth Price, etc. She has performed in almost every city in Japan, traveling there twice a year since 1985. She has performed in a professional capacity in Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Finland, Yugoslavia, Slovatkia. She has performed in South America, Canada, and throughout the U.S.A. Cathy founded a vocal group in 1995, called Alone Together. The four person group has had varying personnel including Tierney Sutton, Michele Weir, Julie Kelly, Stephanie Haynes, Alison Wedding, Cheryl Barnes, Kate McGarry, Jimmer Bolden. They've performed live in clubs and concerts and on television in the U.S.A. and South America. Presently, since March of 2001, Cathy hosts a popular weekly jazz jam session at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. Cathy founded the Jazz Vocal Coaltion, a group dedicated to helping solo jazz singers, through education, performance opportunities, marketing, and other collective skills of the group. She's endorsed by EV (Electro-Voice), and performing for the EV/Mark V booth at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA and in the show in Frankfurt, Germany.
She lived in North Hollywood with her husband who she met in LA, guitarist-songwriter Gus Garcia. They eventually divorced. In 2002 she married Gary Hoffman, the NBC Tonight Show lighting director.
Point Of View (1985); Song Of The Heart (1992); Heart To Heart (1998); Alone Together (1998); Secret Life (1999, 2000);
Films and broadcasts:
Cathy has worked in professional situations in recording studios, performing as backup and lead for commercials (such as: Volvo, Coca Cola, public utilities), airlines (United Airlines), and movies (such as: HBO's 1999 story of Ayn Rand)
Author of booklet on vocal technique, titled "Basics for Vocal Technique"
A featured interview on improvisation in educator/arranger/vocalist is included in Michele Weir's book "Vocal Improvisation", put out by Advance Music
L.A. Jazz Scene May 2002 by Bob Agnew
L.A.Times April 10, 1997, Calendar Weekend Music
"Jazz singer finds duo allows better expression of emotion."
by Zan Stewart
Music Connection, April 25, 1994 by Scott Yanow
L.A. Times .. Calendar Section, February 28, 1992 "Jazz Singer Goes With The Flow"
by Zan Stewart
L.A. Times .. Calendar Section "Touring Helps Singer Expand Her Horizons" by Zan Stewart
L.A. Times .. Calendar Section, January 8, 1990 "Warm Vocals At Drake's By Segal-Garcia" by Don Heckman
Voted number 3 in the top 10 hottest unsigned acts of 1995, by L.A. based music magazine, the Music Connection; Winner of the 1997 JAZZIZ Magazine contest of Composer/Artist, to be a part of their 1998 Sampler, magazine article and winner of equipment; Her CD "Song Of The Heart" has been rated "Best Of the Genre" by the Internet's CD Now.