A Classic Career

From swing standards to rock classics, Carole J. Bufford has a knack for giving vintage records a shiny new spin. But how did she become, as The New York Times puts it, “a 21st century Barbra Streisand?”

Carole J. Bufford in Come Together: When the ’60s Met The ’70s. Photo by Sarah Haley.

Bufford says her earliest musical memory is her at three-years-old
serenading her childhood church in Lincolnton, Georgia, with “Jesus Loves Me.” Later, Bufford performed in pageants and studied the great divas of the Great American Songbook, such as Judy Garland and Bessie Smith – two artists who have helped shape her work today.

“They are very different voices,” Bufford said of Garland and Smith, “but I think I was attracted to the emotion behind them. Both women were raw and exposed, and it never rang false.”

Bufford’s talent and passion inevitably led her to New York City. During a singing competition, she caught the attention of cabaret producer Scott Siegel with a smoky rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”

“I knew instantly that she was an immense talent,” Siegel told The Huffington Post. “What sets her apart is her passion. She performs songs of love, betrayal, infatuation, and everything in between.”

Carole J. Bufford in Roar! The Music of the 1920s and Beyond (2017).
Photo by Alexandria Hill.

Bufford soon took the Cabaret scene by storm. She began booking gigs at the hottest venues in the United States, and even expanded her fan base internationally, with critically-acclaimed runs in London, England, starting in 2015.

What’s next for Carole J. Bufford? Time will tell, but Bufford is not walking blindly into the future. She is guided by the same North Star that has lit her path since that day in a small church in Lincolnton, Georgia.

“Wherever I go, I want to make music that excites people of all ages, ” said Bufford. “To me, that’s the biggest thrill of all.”

Due to popular demand, Vintage POP! has already been extended three times and is now playing in FST’s Keating Theatre from March 24 – May 16, 2021. For tickets or more information, click here.