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Lara Downes - A Billie Holiday Songbook / KDFC: Download Of the Week

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Each week KDFC: San Francisco members can download a free mp3 from some of the biggest releases in the world of Classical music.

Lara Downes grew up listening to Billie Holiday's recordings with her father, who was born and raised in Harlem only blocks from the iconic jazz clubs where Lady Day was a star presence in the 1930s and ‘40s. Trained in the conservatories of San Francisco, Paris, Vienna and New York, Downes acknowledges that Holiday's singing has been a lifelong influence. "As a musician, I learned from Billie Holiday to make something completely personal when you make music," she says. "something that is completely your own - maybe something unexpected, something indefinable, perhaps complicated, but beautiful. To take a chance. As the song says: "But beautiful to take a chance, and if you fall, you fall. And I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all."

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great jazz icon Billie Holiday and Pianist Lara Downes has put together a tribute CD of solo piano arrangements of Holiday's signature songs called - A Billie Holiday Songbook. From the album, Downes version of Johnny Green's I Cover the Waterfront is this week's KDFC Free Download.







Download a free mp3 of Lara Downes performing I Cover the Waterfront below.