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"HAND IN HAND"
"The Benko voice is supple and has a youthful, open quality. Its smoothness retains a bright tone and there's no shrillness factor when things build... You have to hand it to the Hand in Hand duo who not only do all the duties themselves and sound comfortable in all styles and periods, but are equally convincing in all attitudes and characterizations... Close your eyes and the drapes and all seems right with the world."
"Tracks... are completely reinterpreted with a joyful and jazz-inspired glee that is as relaxed as it is refreshing... There’s a lightness and delicacy to Benko’s voice that really suits this treatment, a suppleness and strength too that allows her to match and occasionally meld with Yeager’s piano lines in beautiful style... The result is a beguiling record, perfect to while away these late summer evenings."
-There Ought To Be Clowns
"The perfect Fannie Brice for our time, Ms. Benko may have had a secret weapon: the collaboration with her husband, the jazz pianist and composer Jason Yeager... They make us realize what an incredible song [People] actually is. Ms. Benko sings it like she truly is a person who needs people — or “one very special person,” at the very least.
For 50 minutes, in 13 songs, Benko and Yeager play music from varying genres, and always in a way that makes the song something new to the listener... The directive to tailor the storytelling to the Benko and Yeager chemistry is admirable and successful... HAND IN HAND... is an impressive outing.
PRAISE FOR "INTRODUCING
"Brimming with a fresh creativity and youthful vitality, Introducing Julie Benko indeed introduces us to something... and someone special."
-All About Jazz
"Julie Benko has a sweet gypsy flair to her voice, and uses it well on this flexible release which features her own material and some clever covers... She’s got a nimble delivery with lyrics... disarmingly intimate and... cozy by the fireplace. Creative and swinging."
"11 standout performances on her recently released debut... The album contains several surprising turns, not the least of which is Benko's gifted songwriting on three originals."
-New York City Jazz Record
"Benko has the chops and knows how to use them... jazz vocal fans are sure to have a new set to delight in here. Well done."
"The thing about early Streisand that shot a twenty something to the stratosphere of song stylists in the '60's was her extraordinary skill in "acting" a song... Benko is in that tradition."
"Obviously, Julie Benko has ‘pipes’... She sings with power and gusto. I recognized immediately that she has a stage voice ready to soar onto Broadway stages."
39th Annual Jazz Station Award Winner!
Best Female Singer (2017)
Best 15 Vocal Albums (2017)
-Arnaldo Desouteiro's Jazz Station Awards
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