The Voice

EDER-tor's Notes: Much of the United States is in a deep-freeze with some areas experiencing record-breaking low temperatures, so what better way to warm our hearts and spirits than with THE VOICE and a special “On Tour With Linda” Mid-Winter Review! So grab a cup of tea or cocoa and settle in as we fondly recall these past few busy (and fabulous!) months — as we look forward to springtime and many more wonderful “Eder-adventures” to come! … - Enjoy! Ellen & Amanda

Each year, fans eagerly anticipate Linda’s Christmas Show, hoping that it will come to a venue near them, and 2014 was no exception. For so many, it has become a tradition to attend at least one of these shows to put them in the Christmas Spirit. Even those who do not celebrate Christmas can feel the joy that this season brings to Linda as she sings her favorite carols and songs. Linda loves having a choir to back her on many songs, which adds something extra special to these holiday performances.

In 2014, a very special young singer by the name of Jillian Caillouette joined in with the chorus at two of Linda’s December shows. And then for one very special song, “Grown-Up Christmas List,” Jillian joined Linda to perform a wonderful duet. We know you will enjoy reading the story of how she came to know of Linda and what Linda has meant to professionally and personally.

I remember sitting in the back seat of my grandfather’s car on my way to my dance lessons. I was all buckled up in my car seat, leotard and tights on, and a dance bag next to me with ballet slippers inside. Before we would leave the driveway, my grandfather would take out a CD. He would put the CD into the CD player and a woman’s beautifully clear voice would start to ring out of the car speakers. When the woman began to sing, my grandfather would always say, “Her voice is pure perfection.” That woman is Linda Eder.

Linda with Jillian during sound check

Linda’s voice became my guide at a very young age. I listened to Linda’s albums in the car and sang along to them. My family also took me to see many of her concerts. Soon my family began to notice that I was really learning how to sing. On our family vacations, I would go into the middle of a public place and start to sing one of Linda’s songs. People would stop and listen to me. One time I got up onto the front hood of my grandparents car and began belting out a song at a Massachusetts truck stop! When I sang, I didn’t have a care in the world. I was so happy. My family knew that it was time for me to share my voice with the world, so they entered me in singing competitions at the age of eight in which I won many top honors singing Linda’s songs. I took on singing Linda’s versions of “The Impossible Dream” and “Some People.” In my tween and teen years, I sang some of Linda’s big band arrangements such as “Almost Like Being In Love” and “Zing Went The Strings/The Trolley Song.” Linda’s musical works and voice were with me from the very beginning.

It never occurred to me how much of an impact Linda’s music had on my life until my grandfather passed away. He was her biggest fan. He always told me that if there were any singer in the world to look up to, it would be Linda. I took his advice and I made sure Linda would always be a part of my life and a role model to me. I felt so connected to her and yet I never met her before. That was all about to change in just a few years.

I pursued my love of songwriting, musical theatre and performing through my high school years. I was fortunate enough that my high school had a phenomenal theatre program. I got to play the leading roles in the musicals Legally Blonde, Little Women and A Little Princess. I won the title of “Best Actress” at the Connecticut High School Musical Awards two years in a row and went on to be a top finalist in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, where I performed at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City on Broadway. I also performed at 54 Below, Broadway’s hottest supper club in New York City with the Broadway stars Andrea McArdle, Millie Shapiro and Abigail Shapiro. I am even on the Shapiro Sister’s Live Album! I’ve also interned at top recording studios with the Broadway Producer Van Dean.

The summer of my junior year I found out that Linda was having a master class in Connecticut where I live. My mother called and reserved us two spots for the class. I remember the excitement I felt driving to the Warner Theatre. I couldn’t believe that the woman I listened to and admired for so many years was going to teach a class that I would get to experience and learn from. During the master class, I remember how down to earth Linda was. As she coached the singers, Linda was supportive and encouraging and gave such beautifully refreshing advice. At the end of the master class, she told us that she offers vocal coaching over Skype. I knew that I had to study from her.

I sent Linda a video of myself singing and I wrote to her that I was very interested in studying with her. I soon received an email back from her and before I knew it I was Skyping with Linda. I remember after my first lesson I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to study from such an incredible artist and genuine and kind person. Each and every lesson I had with Linda I began to notice myself growing as a vocalist and as a human being. Linda knows how to bring out the best in my voice and in myself. She takes my voice to places I thought it could never go and teaches me to reach deep within my heart to connect with each and every song I sing. She has taught me to always tell a story through song. Linda has also taught me how to take care of my voice and how to build up my stamina. As much as singing is about the notes, it is about reaching the people listening.

Linda and I formed a friendship. I was performing at 54 Below in New York City over this past summer and Linda came down to the supper club and listened to me sing. I was so grateful that she took the time out of her day to support me.

A few months passed and I remember one lesson I mentioned to her that I was going to see her sing in her holiday concert at the Palace Theatre in Connecticut. She told me that she was going to check her set list and see if we could do a duet together. My jaw dropped! I was over the moon excited and grateful. After a few weeks, Linda found the perfect song for us to perform together. She chose “Grown Up Christmas List,” I have always loved that song and the beautiful message that it tells. We only practiced the song one time together over Skype, working out the harmonies and who would sing what lines. December 5th was approaching quickly and every day I would sing along with Linda’s album and practice the harmonies. It sounded so gorgeous and I couldn’t imagine how wonderful it was going to sound live. The day of the concert was finally here. A dream of mine was about to come true.

When I arrived at the Palace on that cold December day, I remember walking onto the stage and getting a warm greeting from Linda and the band. First we had the sound check. The sound check went extremely well and before the concert we even snuck in a mini rehearsal to make sure our harmonies were rock solid. The choir that was chosen for the concert was my high school choir and I was able to sing with them as well.

I remember singing with the choir right before our duet. My heart was pounding with excitement. The moment had soon arrived and it was time to sing. Linda introduced me and Billy began to play the piano. As we sang together, I remember getting chills because our voices blended so beautifully. The harmonies were exquisite and we truly told a story. After the show, people came up to me and complimented how gorgeous the duet was and how we reached the audience. I remember going home that night and feeling overwhelmed with happiness.

A week or so later, Linda was doing another concert in Easton, Pennsylvania. She invited me to travel down to PA and sing the duet with her again. This was amazing! So I packed up my bags and hopped in the car. My mother, grandmother and I took the drive down and it was one of the best weekends of my life. I can still see the twinkling lights that were out in the auditorium of the State Theatre so clearly in my mind. Our voices rang through the theatre so effortlessly and I felt so content and at ease on stage with her. I got the chance to meet all of the amazingly talent and kind musicians in her band and her good friend and assistant Ellen. Linda has a beautiful team of people by her side that I was honored to meet. By doing two performances with her, I learned so much about how a professional concert should be run.

Ever since I was a little girl, singing has made me happy. I would have never imagined then, now that I’m eighteen years old, I’d have the opportunity to sing a duet with Linda. Singing brings such peace and joy to me and I am beyond blessed to have such an incredible mentor, coach, and most of all, friend in my life to share in that joy. Linda is not only a phenomenal talent but she is one of the most down the earth people I have ever met. She makes a difference in this world with her music and inspires others. She makes people happy and she truly loves what she does. Linda has taught me to never be afraid to go after the things I want, to do what I love and to always believe in myself. What I think is so amazing is that my entire life I have listened to her sing. Linda has been part of my life for as long as I can remember and now she is my friend and my mentor. The little girl in the back seat of the car on her way to dance lessons had no idea that someday she would sing with the great Linda Eder.

Once Linda’s holiday shows were complete, she was able to focus all her energies on her very first “Blitzen Mixen’” event, which would take place at Yono’s in Albany, New York on December 21st. Linda became Santa’s # 1 elf as she set out to surprise those fans who would be attending this very special event. Linda burned the midnight oil making wonderful Christmas ornaments for each person and special ornaments for the choir members who would be performing with her on that day. She even hand stamped the “swag bags,” which would contain many “Linda Eder” items in addition to the ornaments and would be placed on each person’s seat before they were seated for the performance.

December 21st arrived and luckily the weather cooperated… it can be tricky in the winter in the Albany area. The guests began arriving and were greeted by the lovely and ever gracious Donna Purnomo, Yono’s wife and the hostess for “Blitzen Mixen.” They were ushered into the dining area for the first part of the afternoon… an absolutely scrumptious buffet prepared by Yono and his incredible staff. The buffet consisted of a delicious array of traditional holiday favorites featuring turkey roasted to perfection and honey ham that was nothing short of heavenly – what a treat!

While everyone was enjoying the feast, Linda appeared in the dining area looking gorgeous in her “Santa suit.” She moved from table to table greeting her guests, chatting and taking photos with thrilled fans. Every person there was made to feel welcome by Linda.

Soon it was time for the guests to move into the ballroom for a Q & A with Linda followed by her performance of Christmas carols with the choir. The guests were pleasantly surprised with their “swag bags” as they took their seats enjoyed peeking inside to see what Linda had given them as they waited for all the guests to take their seats.

Linda began this portion of the afternoon with the Q & A session. The questions from the audience were varied, and Linda responded to each one with her usual honesty combined with her great sense of humor and ability to evoke laughter. She once again showed how genuine, down-to-earth, and honest she really is.

After all the questions were answered, Linda brought in the choir and began the performance that all those present were eager to enjoy. Fans delighted as Linda and the Linda Eder Holiday Choir, directed by Lisa Gwasda, performed favorite selections from CHRISTMAS WHERE YOU ARE and CHRISTMAS STAYS THE SAME, including: O Come All Ye Faithful, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree/Holly Jolly Christmas Medley, Grown Up Christmas List, Silent Night, O Holy Night and Do You Hear What I Hear.
After the notes of the last song had ended, the audience members gradually made their way out of the ballroom and were met with a wonderful assortment of desserts – a sweet ending to the sweetest of holiday parties, and hopefully the start of a wonderful holiday tradition for years to come!

Linda and The Linda Eder Holiday Choir directed by Lisa Gwasda

Linda mingles with Fans at the Blitzen Mixen!

Linda with THE VOICE Eder-tors, Ellen Jacobs (left) and Amanda Feliu (right)

Yono's Restaurant owners' Chef Yono and Donna Purnomo with Linda. Thanks for an amazing event!

Learn more about Yono's Restaurant or view more of Lori Zapata's photographs from this amazing event!

April Carter writes…

Fan April Carter and Linda

I have seen Linda's performances (approximately 30) ranging from the Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch, Wolf Trap, Baltimore Symphony, Provincetown, Las Vegas, Feinstein’s at Lowes Regency, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and of course, the Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut for her performance as Camille in Camille Claudel.

My husband, Bud, and I have seen Linda's Memory Lane Concert five times since Linda started this concert right from the initial stages. We both found this particular Miami Concert to be single handedly the best one yet! Linda was absolutely glowing, relaxed and phenomenal in her performance. Her banter back and forth with the crowd was exceptional.

I have to say the change up in song selection... “At Last” (which I heard for the first time at the BC/EFA concert in New Hope) and “On the Street Where You Live” were a perfect addition. I have always loved how Linda would play back and forth with the bassist and/or saxophonist during the latter showing her vocal gymnastics and sense of humor, both of which are outstanding!!  

The return of additional instruments to the concert helped greatly in making the concert one of the best Memory Lane Concerts for me. I love a great sax! I hope that Linda continues to retain those instruments in her future concerts.

Linda's “Climb Every Mountain” had my husband jumping to his feet the moment she hit the final note! The only thing missing was Peter Calo and “Fernando!”

After the concert, the woman seated next to me and my husband, who has never seen or heard Linda perform, said "I think Linda sings better than Barbra!" Our response, "We think so!"

I have always wanted to tell Linda that when she sings “Chasing Rainbows/Over The Rainbow,” it brings back my fondest memories. My sweet Grandmother, who I lost in 1978, was a fabulous pianist who played by ear. She would sit down and especially play those two songs for me while the two of us sang them together (off key, I might add!). Now, I sing those two songs as lullabies to my oldest granddaughter since she was born, and she is now seven years old. I play Linda's version all the time, and now her favorite singer is Linda! AND one of these days, she will be in the audience when she is ready and old enough to sit through a concert!

Linda, you bring great joy to all and I hold you dear in my heart.

Greg Kuritz from New York writes…

What can be said about a Linda Eder concert that hasn't been said before? PLENTY!!!

Photo by Kelly Wolner

This was Linda's first appearance at The Troy Musical Hall in Troy, NY and I hope it will not be her last. It is known that this venue has some of the best acoustics of any theatre in the US. Linda's voice was pristine as always, but there was an underlining richness that I had never heard before. Her powerful voice filled the room with glorious note after glorious note. Her phrasings were different with certain notes being held longer than normal, and the tone of her voice was so full and pitch perfect. It was kind of like hearing her sing for the very first time. The set-list followed along with the recently released Linda Live CD with a few exceptions.

Sorely missed was the fast-paced “New Oldies Medley,” but in its place were the crowd favorites, “The Mad Hatter,” “Charade,” “On The Street Where You Live,” and “At Last.” My all-time favorite “Vienna” made its appearance towards the end of the show and received one of the many deserved standing ovations of the night.

But the most special moment of the evening came when Linda sang “Over The Rainbow” to Ray Torres after he shared with her that she had literally saved his life. Ray recently lost well over 200 pounds, and Linda played a huge part in his change of life and recovery! It was a touching and memorable finish to a wonderful evening of song and emotions! I too went through a life changing event recently, and it was great to be able to escape into the world of Linda Eder for 2 hours! I was thoroughly “EDERIZED!”

Photo by Kelly Wolner

Looking forward to another concert from my favorite singer though I don't how she will be able to top this recent show. But I bet she will!

Edmund Metzold from New York writes…

Just returned from Ms. Eder's performance at the Troy Music Hall on February 7, 2015, and as always she never disappoints.

The display of her compassion and sincerity are right up there with her beauty and iconic voice. Those in attendance completely understand that statement. Eagerly awaiting the next song, I noticed that she can stand on stage not singing a note, yet command complete silence from her audience… silence to the point that you could hear a pin drop. The audience hung onto her every word just waiting for the next magical and angelic note to be heard. When the first few measures of each song began, those familiar with her extensive list of songs applauded with exhilaration, anxious to hear one of their personal favorites. She garnered several standing ovations for a number of songs throughout the evening. Talk about loyalty and respect.

Photo by Kelly Wolner

Despite her remarkable performance, the departure of the audience at the end of the performance was different than at previous shows. I expected more pomp and circumstance. But what prevailed was soft and low intermittent chatter. One might conclude they were still under the spell Ms. Eder cast upon them with her captivating performance. The crowd looked hypnotized. Better still-like the mice being led out of town by the pied piper. Perhaps they had the same feeling as me… the feeling as if she was singing to me all night long. Then again maybe it was my own imagination. Regardless of my perception, the atmosphere was one of serenity. If only for a few moments, the world was a kinder and gentler place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for a splendid and very entertaining evening.

Raymond Torres from New York writes…

This is my first time ever writing a review and it is for a show by Linda Eder, someone whom I cherish, revere, and honor as the greatest influence in my life.

On the evening of February 7, 2015, six hundred plus patrons waited in joyous anticipation for our beloved Linda to take the stage at the Troy Music Hall. The snow was falling lightly outside, but we didn’t care because this was going to be the best night.  

The moment comes. It’s Time! The music started and out walked Linda, who looked stunning. Our hearts raced and our minds jumped with glee. A huge ovation erupted from the audience, and we were on our feet! At that moment, I was not just mesmerized.  I I was EDERized (thank you Greg Kurtiz from for the term). When she took the stage, it was as if a true friend, a kindred spirit, someone I have known my whole life but haven’t seen in a long time was there in my life again. The evening couldn’t have been more perfect. Linda’s voice, her presence, the band were all in sync. The acoustics in the venue were phenomenal and only added to the strength, power and beauty of her voice. I was blown away by her vocal style and range.

This show was called Memory Lane and boy was it ever! Not only did she sing all of my favorites (“Someone Like You,” “Vienna” and “Man of La Mancha”), but she added in some amazing songs that I was not expecting, surprises such as “The Mad Hatter,” “Blue Skies,” “ Climb Every Mountain,” Abba’s “Fernando,” and Gordon & Warren’s “At Last” (best known as being sung by Etta James). Linda’s rendition of “At Last” was by far the BEST cover of a song I have ever heard. 

Linda has this amazing ability to engage and banter with the entire audience effortlessly. This moment was bigger than me and opened a flood gate of memories that caused me to break down to tears many times. One of the funniest moments of the evening was when she forgot the lyrics to “Fernando.”  We all just blamed the wine she said she had last night. The only flaw of the evening was some of the lighting transitions were very harsh changes in colors and just all over the place, BUT it wasn’t about the lights. It was about her. Her voice and presence were magical. 

This evening couldn’t have been any better.  I was able to see friends ( a special shout out to Kelly Wolner and Annarose Foley) I haven’t seen in years and meet new people. We were all connected. While speaking with the audience, I told her how she and her voice saved me because I, at one point, did attempt to end it all. Probably not the best timing to tell her this at the beginning of the show, but it just came out and needed to be said. Because of Linda, so many past demons were put to rest. She motioned to me come up to the stage while singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” She hugged me, gave me a kiss and held my hand. This moment was a dream came true. I could not stop crying. She has inspired me in so many ways, and I will forever be in her debt.  

This was my second time seeing Linda in concert. The first time was in 2008 in Chautauqua, New York. I did not get the opportunity to tell her how much she meant to me that time. I first was enchanted by Linda when she was in Jekyll & Hyde. I saw this show many times with many different Lucys, but her portrayal was the only one that ever resonated with me. 

At one point in my life, I was in the depths of despair and I was hurting badly. I was always able to keep a smile on my face, but inside I was being torn apart. That moment had come. I was in a very dark place but something said to turn on my music. The first song that played was “A New Life” from Jekyll & Hyde. What I wouldn't have given to have a new life! Then I played “Someone Like You” and “Vienna.” I did not plan on these songs. It was all coincidence that they just happened to be in that loop, and it was Linda’s songs. Her voice spoke to me as it was as God saying, “This is not the way. Don’t lose hope. It is all going to be okay. I cried for hours but vowed from that moment I am going to live my life as if it is a brand new life, and one day I would live that moment, live that poetry. Through her music and voice, she has inspired me to learn to love myself. Most people say it’s the lyrics that helped me change and it was her directly. Her passion, her energy, her voice are as if heaven is speaking directly to you. Even today, when I am feeling down for any reason, I play her music and lose myself. She truly has been an inspiration and has inspired me to be better person, a better artist and always give myself whole heartedly just like her. Life has gotten so much better since she came into my life. Knowing my love for Linda, my sister allowed me to sing “Someone Like You” as she walked down the aisle at her wedding. Linda, I can never repay you for what you did for me. I truly and humbly am forever in your debt. 

Fan Raymond Torres shares a special moment with Linda...

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