"A Little Closer” is a snapshot of the duo dynamic Lena Seikaly (vocals) and Steve Herberman (guitar) have cultivated over the past few years, exploring mutually-adored repertoire from the 1920s and ‘30s through the hard bop and bossa nova eras. Some of their favorites are featured on this new record. Ever inspired by the work of historic collaborators and stylistic influences Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, Seikaly and Herberman seek to capture and interpret the exciting, spontaneous and mellifluous world of guitar-vocal work, and bring everyone “a little closer” to the art.
Named “one of Washington’s preeminent jazz singers" and "brightest voices in jazz” (The Washington Post), Lena Seikaly was one of eleven global semi-finalists for the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition, and is an alum of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency, Jazz Aspen Snowmass (directed by Christian McBride) and Strathmore Artist-in-Residence program. Lena has headlined the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Blues Alley, Strathmore Mansion, Elkhart Jazz Festival and others, and has appeared as a guest vocalist with Byron Stripling, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and the U.S. Army Blues. She has released three studio albums under her name -- "Written in the Stars" (2009), "Lovely Changes" (2011) and "Looking Back" (2013).
Steve Herberman is a graduate of Berklee College Of Music later adopting the seven-string guitar in 1993. Steve Herberman has performed at venues such as Birdland and The Bar Next Door in NYC, Spazio in Los Angeles, the NAMM shows in Anaheim and Nashville, and at the North Wales jazz guitar weekend in the U.K. as a featured guest artist. In the Washington DC area where he lives he has performed at Blues Alley, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, and the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. Steve has played with renowned musicians such as Keter Betts, Buster Williams, Gary Bartz, Drew Gress, Chuck Berghofer, Harvie S, Mark Ferber, Jim Snidero, Chuck Redd, Ali Ryerson, Bob Wilbur, Steve Williams, Steve LaSpina, Jeff Hirshfield, John Pisano and many more. He has recorded three CDs as a leader -- Thoughtlines (2001) Action:Reaction (2006) and Ideals (2008) -- and has collaborated on numerous others.