About the Players
Hello I am Tom Lambert,

Midnight Starlight..  Is kind of an unusual name for a musical group. I really like it because it's almost like a picture. So, what kind of music is Midnight Starlight? The label I've come up with is classic jazz and standards.. I consider classic jazz to be that great period between the middle 1950’s to the late 1960’s .. cool jazz on the west coast; post bop in New York; that blues based merge of gospel, and jazz  had started happening in all over the country. Sophisticated women singers like June Christy, Julie London, Sarah Vaughn, and Peggy Lee were enjoying artistic and commercial success. Mix this with the timeless music of Gershwin, Cole Porter and Ellington and the result is a fantastic blend of modern sounding music that is pleasing to the senses. Learning to play this style has been a life-long learning process. I've always enjoyed the solo piano jobs I've played over the years because it gave me a chance to work on this style of music.

Three years ago I got the opportunity to start a musical group. I knew what I wanted and looking back, without getting too cosmic I really think I somehow put this out to the universe- to that great place where all the knowledge and answers are,  and things started coming back to me..

Since this group has been together much  has taken place. This summer our first two singers, Kirsten and Bridget left Alaska. We sent them our best with smiles but also some sadness. In the two years they were with us these two women matured into compelling, talented singers.  The fates have smiled on us again and  we now have two new fabulous singers. Come meet them and, if you are new to us, the other members of the Midnight Starlight family.

Elizabeth Santoro-  I wanted an acoustic, stand-up bassist.  At the Anchorage Folk Festival in January, 2002  I met Elizabeth. I have been grateful ever since. Her rock-solid, no nonsense style is exactly what I was hoping for.  Her 200 year old French bass is one of the most beautiful instruments I've ever seen.

Elena Gonzales- Elena has told me that she grew up listening to her father’s old jazz records. Something must have stuck because this woman is a natural born jazz singer. She electrified the crowd at this years Christmas Concert. A music student at UAA, Elena is benefiting from the experience we are giving her but make no mistake- she came to us ready to sing.

Bridget Sullivan As some of you know Bridget sang with us for almost 2 years. She has returned to us  after spending time in Oregon. Bridget has now finished her studies at UAA. We are really excited about having her continue to perform with us

Bill Barry - It's with great pleasure that I get to announce Bill Barry as our new saxophonist. A long time friend, Bill has been playing with us regularly over the past several years. It's great to have him with us full time.. 

John Wheatley- I’m not even sure how I ran into John. Like the song says maybe it was just one of those things. Maybe someone had told me about this guy who truly plays tenor saxophone in the traditional style. I might have tracked him down at one of the clubs in town and invited him to sit in. John just seems to fit right in with our sound. His tenor is a faithful remake of one of the classic Selmer’s of the 1940’s. One of his favorite expressions is, “I just love to play”

James Woods-   I've known Jimmy for years, playing in various bands around Anchorage. Only recently we realized a connection from our earlier days around Los Angeles. While in college in downtown LA  I used to go to the jazz clubs and so did James often as a band member as one of, what I call the “real guys” ..  All it takes is one listen to our live recording at the Organic Oasis to realize what a treasure this guy is.

This is what I have to say about these wonderful individuals who are helping me create this special sound.  Please go to the Players section and click on the photo links to see and read more about them.

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