Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Altadena, California, Carmen Bradford grew up with music in her home and in her heart. It was only natural that Carmen would follow in the footsteps of her great family legacy, being the daughter of legendary trumpeter/ composer Bobby Bradford and world renowned vocalist/composer Melba Joyce.
Carmen was discovered and hired by William “Count” Basie, and was the featured vocalist in the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years. Carmen performed on two Grammy Award winning albums with the Basie band in the 1980’s and later collaborated on a third Grammy Award winning album, “Big Boss Band,” with guitarist George Benson in 1991.
Carmen began another chapter in her illustrious career as a solo artist with her critically acclaimed debut album “Finally Yours” (Evidence Records) in 1992. The 1995 release of her second solo album, “With Respect,” (Evidence Records) established the Atlanta-based singer as one of jazz music’s most diverse and exciting vocal stylists proving to the world that Carmen Bradford was a unique voice in jazz in her own right.
Carmen’s 2004 release, “Home With You,” (Azica Records) is a warm and beautiful collection of piano/vocal duets with talented artist Shelly Berg. Carmen Bradford returned to her big band roots with her new 2008 release, “Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra,” featured on Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Carmen was featured on John Mills’ 2015 release, “Invisible Design,” proving once again her outstanding ability to sing all forms of jazz, be it straight ahead jazz, blues or jazz fusion, and swing it like nobody can.
In 2016 Carmen Bradford was asked by South African trumpeter, Darren English, to be a part of his new critically acclaimed CD, tilted “Imagination Nation, on Hot Shoe Records. Whether it’s a duo concert with Shelly Berg, Big Band with the ladies of DIVA, or her new favorite: performing with Symphony Orchestras around the world, Carmen Bradford’s body of work reflects a vast depth of musical experience and technical brilliance. She is also recognized for the overwhelming passion she brings to the lyric.