clintieAt age 2, Bethany’s dad put her on the dining room table and played make-believe piano while she danced. In second grade, she played the white stripe in the American flag and heard applause from the audience and at that moment, she was bitten by the show business bug. By the time she graduated from the University of Alabama, she had already spent two years on the road as a singer and had been named a Stan Kenton College Jazz All-Star.

blueroomWhile singing on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, she was brought to the attention of Dick Stabile, the legendary musical director/arranger (Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis), who was leading the band-in-residence at the Blue Room of the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans. After her opening night, he was quoted in the Times Picayune:

“She’s like no one else I’ve ever seen before. She can do anything. She has poise, warmth, and good stage manners, and knows how to take directions well. Her voice is unique. It’s as if she’s picked the brains of all of the greats and yet come up with a style all her own. I never stick my neck out like this for someone, but this girl’s going to be a star within a year. I’m really going all out for her…”

If he hadn’t passed away three weeks later,who knows what might have happened?

bandrSo instead of instant stardom, there were years of regional theatre, off-off Broadway, nightclub gigs, TV commercials, and more cruise ships. She has performed all over the world – from Antarctica to Zurich, at jazz festivals, resorts, in theatres, cabarets and clubs including such celebrated spots as Birdland, the Algonquin and even Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

In42 TUTS 1996, Bethany starred as Dorothy Brock in a European tour of 42nd Street. That’s when her life really changed. Among the sixteen musicians traveling with the show was trumpeter Bruce Staelens. They shared a love of food, wine, travel and most significantly, jazz. They married in 1998 and have been making beautiful music together ever since – literally. Their debut CD was The Big Band Theory, featuring Bethany’s vocals, Bruce’s trumpet solos and a fabulous 18-piece big band.

band3Bethany & Bruce moved to Seattle in 2008. Since then they’ve been put together a west coast big band which performs the first Wednesday of each month at Tula’s Nightclub in Belltown.