Gabrielle Goodman is a professor of music at the Berklee College of Music in the Voice Department. She is well-versed in jazz, R&B, classical, as well as gospel and has performed with Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Nancy Wilson, and Roberta Flack, who calls Goodman "one of the finest singers around today." Her 1993 JMT/Polygram debut release Travelin' Light, featuring Kevin Eubanks on guitar, saxophonist Gary Thomas, and drummer Buddy Williams, brought Goodman international acclaim. She received standing ovations for her performances at the North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals. Her second release, Until We Love, features bassist Christian McBride, pianist Mulgrew Miller, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and saxophonist Gary Bartz. Goodman is also featured on recordings by Norman Connors and Lonnie Liston Smith.
Goodman won an ASCAP Songwriting Award for "You Can Make the Story Right," which she wrote with Chaka Khan, and she also penned jazz compositions for her two CDs. Goodman has performed in both classical and jazz idioms with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Baltimore Opera, and the National Symphony. Her theatrical appearances include Maya Angelou's gospel/opera King and the Canadian production of Ain't Misbehavin' costarring Dee Dee Bridgewater. Goodman's television appearances include the David Letterman show, Arsenio Hall, A&E Channel, the BBC, and the German TV show Talk and Swing.
"A good singer has beautiful tone quality, a good sense of pitch, rhythm, phrasing, and stylistic interpretation. A good singer also has a clear understanding of how to deliver the meaning of the song and an emotional connection to the music. Singers must be sensitive to what is going on around them harmonically, rhythmically, and melodically. Things aren't just going to happen by osmosis. And of course, they must have tenacity, the willingness to work to become better."
"My teaching style is a holistic approach. I teach from a standpoint of classical technique using diaphragmatic breathing and blending registers, while remaining true to the various genres of music that we cover. The stylistic approach to jazz and R&B includes slightly different techniques, which employ improvisation and the proper use of chest voice."
"As a performing artist, I know that work and practice are important. But pacing and rest are also essential to vocal health. When you're performing night after night and traveling, it is really important to maintain your instrument. Rest, warming up before you sing, and knowing the music play a vital role in sustaining the voice."
"Working with Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack opened my ears as a musician and helped me to think critically about the melodic approach to singing. From Roberta I learned that you must really know the melody of a song before you add improvisational lines. From Chaka, I learned to push my melodic ideas beyond all limits. I try to teach my students to challenge themselves in that way. Sometimes they limit themselves. They are so afraid of being imperfect, they restrict themselves by not exploring improvisational ideas, and sometimes shy away from using their full range. So I try to get them to explore all of the vocal options available to them."