Website: ladykjazz.com or kymlawrence.com
Born as Catherine Monroe in Harlem on West 152nd Street and raised in St. Albans, Queens. Kym Lawrence lived on West 100 Street in New York City until the tender age of eight. At nineteen her name was changed to Kym by her manager. Music was always a major part of Kym´s life. Her father played the clarinet and her mother sang in a church choir. Kym began singing in the church but her dreams were shaped by several other experiences.
As an adolescent, Kym had the privilege of many times performing at Count Basie´s home with the Bartlett Contempories. Basie was impressed by Ms. Lawrence´s voice and took a special interest in her talent. He invited her to his concerts and gave her a listening list which included Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Humes, Billie Holiday and Joe Williams. Kym´s love affair began with American´s only indigenous art-form, jazz. Kym followed Basie´s advice and began attending performances of everything from Broadway shows to jazz concerts.
In 1963 Kym Lawrence won Hal Jackson´s Tip Top Talent Hunt Contest. As a result, she recorded her first song with a female group from the Bronx called The Socialites "Jimmy". It wasn´t long before she was discovered by singer/songwriter/producer J.J. Jackson (But it´s Alright). J.J. wrote two songs for Kym and then contacted producer Cecil Holmes requesting that they should team up together and record his new discovery. After the recording of "The One Boy" and "See You Later Lover" the first stop was Sue Records (Ike & Tina Turner´s label). Juggy Murray, CEO of Sue Records was impressed and offered Kym a recording contract. Unfortunately, Kym´s contract wasn´t signed because Kym´s parents got cold feet. Completing her high school education became her priority. Disappointed but not discouraged Kym graduated high school and continued to work with many local bands in New York City. She had a short stint with The Village Soul Choir (Cat Walk hit) and Willie Feaster and the Mighty Magnificents. At one point she recorded lead vocals for Weldon Irvine Jr. (Nina Simone's music director) a wonderful political inspirational song entitled "Stand Up and Be Counted"and Hope for the Future" with The Toys (Lover's Concerto) the official name of the group was called, Getto Kitty. Occasionally she toured with Nina Simone as a backup singer. She had a two year stint with Willie Feaster and the Mighty Mignificents, recorded "Say Brother" with Mother Night (Featuring Skip Sonny and the Pace Brothers). In 1976 she toured with Undisputed Truth (Smiling Faces and You + Me).
In addition to her work in the United States, Kym has performed in Germany, London, Spain and works annually in Japan touring Tokyo, Osaka and Akita.
At the present time Kym is working on her soon to be release CD entitled "Kym Swings Big Band Style " on AjSj Jazz, a hopeful release sometime by July 2008. Check out Kym on Monday nights performing with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at Swing 46 in New York City.
From the past to the present, Kym Lawrence has had the opportunity to work with top noteable musicians, among them are: Carl and Charles Bartlett (their first vocalist many moons ago!) Clarence "Tootsie" Bean, Don Blackman, Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax, Freddie Bryant, Charles Carrington, Kim Clarke, Keith Copeland, Bob Cunningham, Ralph Dorsey, Leon Dorsey, Willard Dyson, Gerry Eastman, Michael (Max) Flemming, Don Friedman, Wally Gator, Paul Livant, Julie Homi, George Gee, George Gray, Lafayette, Harris, Gerald Hayes, Patience Higgins, Marvin Horn, Fred Hunter, Weldon Irvine, David Jackson, Ed Jackson, Brad Lehli, Eric Lemon, Kuni Mikami, John Miller, Danny Mixon, Paul Ramsey, Keith Saunders, Virgil Scott, Jimmy Sigler, Nina Simone, Fred Staton, Fuku Tianaka, Bross Townsend, Bobby Watson, James Weidman, Jon Weiss, Chip "Alan" White, Bill Whited, Greg Wilder, Ruben Wilson, Jimmy Wormworh and Bill Wurtzel.