RIP: Betty MacDonald


Betty McDonaldJazz violinist-vocalist Betty MacDonald passed away on Monday morning at her Woodstock home.

During her long career, MacDonald recorded several albums, including 1996’s “Soulful” (co-produced with Warren Bernhardt featuring Vinnie Martucci, Dave Holland, Rich Syracuse, Rob Leon, Jimmy Cobb, Peter O’Brien, Ken Lovelett and Harvey Sorgen) and 2005’s “Dream Come True” (co-produced with Joe Beck featuring Warren Bernhardt, Mike Mainieri, Jay Anderson, Dennis Mackrel, Peter O’Brien and Artie Dixson), as well as her 2008 live trio album, “Billie Holiday Tribute,” featuring Peter Tomlinson and Jim Curtin.

Her latest album, “And Here’s to You,” was recorded with Joe Beck. The album was celebrated with a CD release party in May at the Kleinert James Arts Center in Woodstock, where MacDonald performed selections with Mike Mainieri, Ira Coleman, Dennis Mackrel and Pete Levin.

With her eclectic musical spirit MacDonald was also a member of the Marc Black Band, Iabas, Winston Grennan’s Ska Rock Band, Critical Theory and Estrella.

In addition to her performing and recording career, MacDonald was also the long-time host of jazz radio shows on Woodstock’s WDST-FM and Albany’s WAMC-FM, where she interviewed such jazz legends Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Joe Williams, Marian McPartland, and Nancy Wilson.

In accordance with her wishes, there will be no funeral. There will, however, be a celebration of MacDonald’s life in the future at a date to be announced.

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