Cami Thompson

 

Cami Thompson — singer, actor, band leader, music director, arranger, songwriter, teacher – has gained a world-wide reputation for wowing audiences with her 4-octave voice of great beauty, control and passion, her zany wit, her blazing scat solos, and her humorous interaction with her audiences. Her professional career spans over 42 years across 25 countries, combining vocal and musical elements from her education, training and background in jazz, pop, musical theater and classical music. She moves smoothly between whispered phrases to gliding long-held notes to power-belting through her vast repertoire with robust honesty and exciting vibrancy. Her style has been called “a delightful mix of Ella Fitzgerald and Bette Midler”, and she is often compared to voices like Cleo Laine, Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand, Barbara Cook and Sarah Vaughan. But Cami is an original, gathering fans throughout years of performing across the US, Europe and Asia – in nightclubs, concerts, festivals and theaters with her unique charm and rich talents. Raised in a musical family, Cami started singing at 2, piano lessons at 6, and sang with her 2 sisters and her dad throughout their childhood at church and civic events. She continued her music education form junior high school through college, with courses and private lessons in classical voice training (8 years), musical theater, theory, piano, synths, recording, arranging, and performance – while playing keyboards and singing in rock, pop, funk, soul and jazz bands, singing in operas, and playing leads in several musicals at University of Nevada-Reno. This life-long experience has now led Cami into working in community theater as a music and vocal director in her hometown of Reno, Nevada while still teaching voice privately, and performing concerts here and there with much less stress. Cami has 6 solo albums to her credit, has guested on dozens of others, and has appeared as Opening Act for the Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Art Blakey, Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson, Ernestine Anderson and others. She has performed in lead theatrical roles in over 50 musicals and plays, including Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett), Annie (Miss Hannigan), Full Monty (Jeannette), Mame (Mame and Gooch), Annie Get Your Gun (Annie), Cinderella (Godmother), Follies (Sally), Company (Joanne), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Muzzy), Girl Crazy (Kate Fothergill), Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Miss Mona – 4 times!), Noises Off! (Dottie Otley), the opera Hansel and Gretel (Witch), Showboat (Ellie Mae), Candide (Old Lady). Cami performs with her own bands – from solo piano accompaniment to her jazz duo/trio to her all-woman trio “The Jazzettes” to her jazz-rock quintet to her 7-piece swing band “Cami & The Cosmopolitans” to big band – as well as performing as guest artist with bands and groups throughout the West Coast and Europe at jazz clubs, concert halls, private events and jazz festivals. She also performs for educational festivals as a jazz clinician, judge and guest artist. She has sung at the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland as well as the Preuveniment and Loosdrecht Festivals, and the Juan Les Pins Festival du Jazz in France, and several others, while working in Europe. She has won awards and accolades for her entertainment skills. Spanning 20 years from 1990 to 2010, Cami performed with the famous jazz trumpeter and educator (and former lead player with Stan Kenton Orchestra) Mike Vax and The Great American Jazz Band at dozens (and dozens) of Swing and Traditional Jazz festivals across the US, such as Sacramento, Sun Valley, Mammoth and Monterey. She sang on two of Vax’s Big Band albums, BigBandJazz and Alternate Route – 2 songs each. You can find them on iTunes, along with 4 of Cami’s CDs and individual songs. Critics have called Cami’s talents “dazzling” and “electric,” with “a voice that stands out like diamonds from glitter,” while captivating audiences with a highly charged magnetism.” Rollan Melton, late editor of the Reno Gazette-Journal, wrote that Cami is “among the world’s great entertainers” and Myrna Daniels of L.A. Jazz Scene wrote that a “dramatic, brassy, sassy and lovely” voice. Friend and co-star Toni Tenille says: “Cami probably has more talent than any performer I know. Her voice does things I can only dream of doing. She has incredible stage charisma and timing, and she’s got THAT VOICE!” After co-starring with Miss Thompson in “Annie Get Your Gun,” veteran Broadway musical actor John Raitt simply said, “Cami is stunning!” Cami teaches voice privately in her San Francisco and Reno studios, and in clinics around the west. She enjoys arranging music, songwriting, traveling the world, snow skiing, hiking, tree-hugging, political activism for the environment and social justice, eating great food (often lovingly prepared for her by her very own “kitchen mechanic” husband) exploring the cultural scenes, movies, concerts, reading, laughing a lot, and tending her gardens with great joy.

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