Harmony and Hijinks with Duchess

Welcome to “Harmony & Hijinks”, the show in which the women of the New York City-based vocal trio Duchess explore and celebrate harmony, both in—and outside of—the world of music. When we started singing together we discovered that humor, collaboration, and (yes) imperfection were essential ingredients for our signature style of harmony. So, we are setting out to explore how creative people from all walks of life use those same ingredients to find joy and success in their chosen field. Along the way there’s sure to be laughter, story telling and probably, hijinks --- That’s just who we are.
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Harmony and Hijinks with Duchess


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Jun 18, 2018
It's a very special happy hour! We're continuing our alphabetic sojourn through the world of cocktails with a bespoke libation: the Duchess, created especially for us by the Jazz Standard's master mixologist (and erstwhile jazz guitarist) Grant Gardner (no relation to Hilary, as far as we can tell). Tune in for the story behind our eponymous tipple, which is (we say immodestly) as effervescent, elegant, and fun at parties as we are.
Jun 11, 2018

We are joined by Master Sommelier, drummer, Toto super-fan, and Hilary's erstwhile coworker, Fred Dexheimer for a funny, far-reaching chat about all things Bacchic. Being happy tipplers ourselves, we loved Fred's riffing on the many parallels between enjoying wine and making music. As Hilary can attest from their years working together in restaurants, Fred's no stranger to hijinks, and it's safe to say a good time was had by all when we taped this episode. [Full disclosure: we were drinking rosé THE ENTIRE TIME.]

May 21, 2018

We are joined by Grammy-nominated songwriter, singer, and educator Kate McGarry for a far-reaching conversation about carrying the weight of our ancestors, being present and generous onstage, creating community, and much more (including sitting in the Kennedy family pew at church during her Massachusetts childhood). Kate is a true singers' singer and a beautiful spirit; her definition of harmony as "energetic alignment" is as elegant as it is concise.

May 14, 2018
Juno-nominated singer, pianist, songwriter, and radio host Laila Biali chats with us backstage at Birdland before her recent NYC show promoting her new self-titled album. Tune in to hear how a classically trained kid from Vancouver wound up gigging with Sting (and surreptitiously snapping photos during dinner at his Tuscan villa).
Apr 23, 2018

Get ready for a master class on singing and life with Grammy-winning vocalist (and all-around beautiful and wise human being) Catherine Russell. Cat has shared the stage with David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, and Steely Dan (to name but a few) and, with half a dozen critically acclaimed recordings under her belt, is one of the most dynamic jazz and blues singers of our time. Cat shares insights about how she chooses the songs she sings, the importance of being a musical archaeologist, and the live-saving properties of music. 

Apr 10, 2018
We're going to Hollywood! We chat with singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, erstwhile standup comic, and (oh, yeah!) MOVIE STAR Nat Wolff about his childhood music lessons with Duchess's very own Amy Cervini, what it was like growing up in show business, the importance of being nice, and the time he got pranked by Robert De Niro. 
Apr 2, 2018

We sit down with singer, actor, radio host, painter, and urbane woman-about-town Jessica Molaskey. In our chat, Jessica shares her lifelong love of Joni Mitchell and Stephen Sondheim, the joys of genre-hopping, and the fine art of trusting one’s intuition.

Mar 26, 2018

The Duchess gals discuss winter, winter blues and how to avoid them.

Mar 12, 2018

In this week’s episode we discuss a vinyl-only bonus track “Going Home,” Hebrew "R" sound pronunciation, and Dvorak's "From The New World" symphony. Also included is a seldom-heard English Horn imitation by our arranger/producer Oded Lev-Ari. 

Mar 5, 2018

We sit down for a long-anticipated chat with one of our favorite people and vocalists, Mr. John Dokes. In true Clark Kent fashion, John is a high-powered business executive by day (after a stint as a marketing exec and comic book creator at Marvel comics, he's now Chief Marketing Officer of Accuweather) and a jazz singer and swing dancer by night. 

Feb 12, 2018

The gals of Duchess bid a very fond "bon voyage!" to our friend (and favorite sound man) Josh Wynn. Josh was responsible for not only the sound, but also some very mellifluous announcing for us at a number of gigs at Jazz Standard over the years. He's now north of the border, starting a new chapter in Amy and Melissa's hometown of Toronto, Canada, and we sat down with him for a chat the day before he hit the road.

Jan 29, 2018

We're taking a walk down memory our Doc Martens and ribbon chokers. That's right, we're turning back the clock to the 1990s and our summer jobs. Tune in to hear how Melissa went method for her stint as a Bajoran in a Canadian theme park (yes, really), while Amy and Hilary did time--er, spent time—in Alaska, working for Princess Cruises.

Jan 22, 2018

In our first episode of season two, we chat with Canadian vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow. We discuss the arts high school that Emilie-Claire and Amy attended, her week on an ice-breaker in the Arctic, her many cartoon voices and the term "scat."  

Dec 22, 2017

A short and sweet update from the ladies of Duchess - Happy Holidays!

Look for season 2 coming January 22, 2018. 

Jul 10, 2017

We discuss our world premier recording of Vet Boswell's "Dawn," writing tune introductions and a special gift from the Boswell sisters. 

This episode is dedicated to Kyla Titus.

Jul 5, 2017

In this episode we speak with stylist, organization guru and swimwear line founder, Rachel Wirkus.  Rachel got us thinking about summer with talk of Formes, her new swimwear line and also gives us some tips for organizing our closets.  Speaking of summer, we also talk about our summer plans and playlists.  

Jun 26, 2017

In this episode, we catch up with Toronto-based vocalist Heather Bambrick. We discuss the many sides of Heather including her vocal harmony roots, her recent Juno nomination for her latest solo record, her voice-over career (which gets both Melissa and Amy crying) and she teaches us some Newfanese.  We also continue one of our favorite segments, "I'll Drink to That" with the letter "C."

Jun 19, 2017

In this week’s episode we talk about the World War II favorite “We'll Meet Again,” Johnny Cash's version and some more beautiful clarinet work by Anat Cohen.


Jun 12, 2017

In this week’s episode we talk about “Here's to the Losers.” We discuss Frank Sinatra's version of the song and how it informed our own, brassy 3-part harmony parts, and arranging as an outdoor activity.


May 23, 2017

Kat Edmonton stops by to talk about American Idol, songwriting and her upcoming record. Also, What's New and Favorite Duchess Beers. 

May 15, 2017

In this week’s episode we talk about Johnny Mercer’s “Strip Polka.” It’s about Queenie, a stripper with a heart of gold and features tenor saxophonist, Jeff Lederer.  


May 8, 2017

In this week’s episode we talk about “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” by Cole Porter.  We talk about discovering the verse and rediscovering this song, interpretation as a group in a ballad and sing the praises of Cole Porter for the second time this season.  


May 1, 2017

We discuss the Ray Charles' classic, Hallelujah I Love Her So. 

Apr 24, 2017

We discuss Duke Ellington's "Creole Love Call" arranged for us by Wycliffe Gordon.

Apr 17, 2017

We catch up with Janis Seigel, founding member of the Manhattan Transfer. 

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