Urszula Dudziak

The former wife of Polish jazz violinist Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak has established her own legacy as a vocalist. Gifted with a four-and-a-half octave voice, she was dubbed "jazz singer of the year" by the Los Angeles Times in 1979. A frequent collaborator of the late Gil Evans in the 1980s, Dudziak's singing was featured on Evans' albums Live at Umbria Jazz '87, recorded at the Italian music festival, and Last Session, recorded with Sting. A featured vocalist for Archie Shepp, Lester Bowie, and Bobby McFerrin in the 1980s, she performed with the Vocal Summit Group along with Jay Clayton, Jeanne Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Norma Winstone, Michele Hendricks, and Lauren Newton in the early '90s. She was a featured soloist for the Vienna Art Orchestra's performance of "Artistry in Rhythm -- A European Suite" in 2000. Dudziak's seven-year-long collaboration with Krzysztof Zawadzki's band, Walk Away, yielded four albums between 1987 and 1994. Working with Koledy Ur and Grazyna Auguscik in 1996, she recorded an album of jazz interpretations of classic Christmas carols.