Abigail Riccards has garnered much attention from the jazz community for her effortless swing, heartbreaking tone, and personalized approach to lyrics. Abigail's inimitable approach to the Great American Songbook has made her one of the most celebrated jazz vocalists of her generation.
Performing in Chicago since 2011, Abigail has quickly established herself as one of the rising vocalists on the scene. She has performed at many of the city's top jazz clubs with some of Chicago's most respected musicians, headlining at venues such as the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Katerina's, and Andy's Jazz Club.
Prior to her move to the windy city, Abigail was an active artist in New York's jazz scene. She has repeatedly performed at many of the most treasured venues in NYC, including being a frequent favorite at Birdland, the Jazz Standard, Smoke, Smalls, the Kitano, Sweet Rhythm, and 55Bar. Abigail has also collaborated with many of the best jazz musicians in the world including Michael Kanan, Peter Bernstein, David Berkman, Mulgrew Miller, Spike Wilner, Neal Miner, Jay Leonhart, Steve LaSpina, Lee Hudson, Tony Romano, Brad Shepik, Matt Wilson, Bill Goodwin, Rick Montalbano, Elliot Zigmund, Joel Frahm, Adam Kolker, and Ron Horton.
Abigail's most recent studio album, "Every Little Star" which is coproduced by world renowned recording artists Jane Monheit was released in April. The album features classics from the Great American Songbook, original tunes, and a stunning duet with Monheit herself. All of the proceeds of this album go to benefit a fantastic NYC based nonprofit called ArtStrides (www.artstrides.org). The album features sensational musicians such as Peter Bernstein, Michael Kanan, Neal Miner, and Elliot Zigmund. Nick DeRiso calls the album a "completely enchanting recording," and writes "Riccards has brought a sense of child-like wonder to a project meant to ensure that the next generation shares it, too." Abigail's first album, When the Night Is New was released as one of the most impressive debut albums of 2007. It featured the talents of David Berkman, Ben Allison, Matt Wilson, Adam Kolker, Ron Horton, Lage Lund, Rogerio Boccato and was produced by Dena DeRose. Ken Dryden calls it "an outstanding debut effort by the promising jazz vocalist Abigail Riccards." Abigail followed it up with her 2011 release Soft Rains Fall, an intimate collection of jazz and popular standards, recorded in a duo setting with nylon string guitarist, Tony Romano.
In 2000, she was also selected to participate in the Jazz in July workshop at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and competed in the 2006 Fish Middleton Competition, where she was a semi-finalist. In 2004, Abigail was selected to be a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where she competed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C for judges such as Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Jimmy Scott and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Since earning her Master's Degree, Abigail has also become an active music educator. She teaches privately and conducts many college workshops. Recently, she has conducted vocal jazz workshops at Hunter College and Clark University. Abigail was also selected as a collaborator for David Berkman's The Jazz Singer's Guidebook: A Course in Jazz Harmony and Scat Singing for the Serious Jazz Vocalist on which she recorded the vocal examples for the accompanying CD. Abigail is also a licensed Music Together instructor and brings her knowledge of cognitive musical development to the forefront of her teaching approach, an approach that effectively merges her extensive performance experience and her sensitivity to different students and learning approaches.