Drea Courtney 

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Drea began her singing career with the Bobby Dupre Trio at the Varsity Room in Los Angeles.

 

She also appeared with the Dolo Coker trio and Sam Fletcher at the Club Casbah, in Los Angeles, and Art Hillery, and Kenny Dixon at the Jimmy Smith Supper Club in North Hollywood.

She was particularly honored to have had the late, great Wes Montgomery pull her from his audience to sing at the Drome in Detroit.

 

Only one person who encouraged Drea to sing as a child and that was family friend, world famous jazz bassist, Al McKibbon, who kept insisting : "Don't let anyone discourage you. Go for it!" (Her parents said, you'll starve singing better learn to type!")

 

She refers to Buddy Collette as "Her Hero." A jazz icon who complimented her by asking for her autograph while appearing at the Billy Higgins World Stage with the Chuck Johnson Jazztet.

 

Special thanks go to : James Polk who worked some of her first gigs, and wrote her first charts.  Cardella DiMilo, Rose Gayles, Barbara Morrison, Billy Mitchell, John Bolivar, and Garland Campbell always offered "an open mike."

 

Love to some special LA "Phat Kats" : Ralph Gibson, Neil Jordan, and Henry Van Sykle who smoothed the way for her return to the stage after an extended hiatus by playing in her return group "The DC Express."

 

Then there was Bill Skinner, who gave her a spotlight with his Big Band, and led her to Catalina's Bar & Grill in Hollywood. Chuck Johnson who introduced her to the public at large by working several major jazz festivals, and later featured her on one of his albums. Ken Dixon introduced Drea to "high society" by featuring her with his combo in Santa Barbara, and Ventura, CA, where she appeared at the Biltmore Hotel, Red Lion Resort, and California 66. Then last but not least, her friend, Hardy Eason, who taught me the key to giving a good performance is practice, practice, practice!

 

Drea was half of the jazz duo formerly known as Chapter & Verse with renown jazz guitarist Igor. They appeared in and around the Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Redondo Beach area.

 

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