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Backup Singer Jo Lawry Steps Into The Spotlight

Jo Lawry's mother and father were the kind of parents who encouraged their five children to learn to play instruments in their spare time.

 

Jo quickly trained herself how to play with a group, and that could be why she felt more comfortable in a supporting role when she started a career in music.

 

She has been a backup singer for several prominent jazz musicians, including Frank Foster, Clark Terry and Fred Hersch. And in 2009, she was one of four people chosen to sing with award-winning rock musician Sting for a DVD recording.

 

She did so well that Sting asked her to tour with him for the next few years. Today, the tables have turned for Lawry. She has stepped into the spotlight with her own album, "Taking Pictures," in which Sting sings backup for her.

 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Lawry about her career as a backup singer and her new venture as a solo artist.

 

Lawry performs Saturday at 7 p.m. for Mrozfest in Bahama, Sunday at 2 p.m. for Beyu Caffe's Jazz Brunch in Durham, and Sunday at 7 p.m. at Sharp Nine Gallery in Durham.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.