"A brilliant raconteur and painter of lyrical portraits"
. . . Legend Magazine
"Everyone should be singing her songs!"
. . . Craig Harris, The Boston Globe
. . . Anna Hovind, CNN News, Atlanta
That Voice . . .
Celeste discovered that her voice was her ideal instrument. From opera arias to rhythm & blues, she developed her own contralto and mezzo-soprano voice. At the age of sixteen, she auditioned for a local rock-pop group, in which she performed as lead singer and keyboardist for nearly a decade, touring across the United States and Canada.
A Parallel Journey . . .
In perfect alignment with her music career, Celeste was invited to present her own radio program in the late 1970’s for WNKO Radio in Newark, Ohio, which led to positions as on-air radio personality for WTVN Radio and WBNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio, becoming the first female on-air talent in the Central Ohio prime time market.
By the mid-eighties, her voice was heard throughout the Midwestern United States and Canada over the airwaves, in addition to co-hosting, producing and writing for the television series, “Dimension Magazine”. In the early 1990’s, Celeste became program director and afternoon drive talent for WIJY Radio in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
From the Heart . . .
Since 2000, Friedman has released several singer-songwriter albums, "K.I.D.!" ; “Every Tear I Know” ; “Live at the Bluebird Café” ; “The Tide” ; “Single 101” and "The Road to Santiago, along with several single CD's, such as "The Son of A Soldier"; "What Would John Lennon Say?”; and “There’s A Knock on the Door”. All are available on CDBaby and iTunes.
She has authored and self-published four books, “Single 101: 101 Reasons to Celebrate Being Single”; “Locked Inside”; "Sunshine and Me" and "Among the Fallen Leaves", (A Journal on the Battlefield of Cancer). As a composer, Celeste scored the music for the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, "The Glory of Living"; the first season of the cable thriller, “Irving Renquist, Ghost Hunter”; the pilot for “The French Kitchen” for The Food Network; and her work was featured in the short film, "Young Folks”, showcased in Festival des Cannes-2008.
Friedman was chosen as one of the 50 writers from the 50 states by the Music for Troops organization, included in the compilation, “All States, All Stars” and featuring her haunting ballad, “Wild Horses” in 2007. Music For Troops selected Celeste again in 2009 for their next compliation project, "Operation 11.11.09", featuring her ballad, "AHome Run", for which she was previously nominated for a Pat Weaver Award in 1995. Over 50,000 copies of these 3-CD boxed sets have been sent to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Celeste has written and produced several album collections and singles for children, creating and presenting for Artists in Schools projects, including her award-winning musical/historical program “O is for Ohio” for the Ohio Bicentennial. Ms. Friedman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005 for her children’s rock ‘n roll shuffle, “K.I.D.!”, a part of a compilation project with The State of Ohio, “One to Grow On”, as well as her album of the same title, "K.I.D!", released in 2000. In 2006, SillyBooks.net in Australia designed an animation for her original musing of pirates, parrots and treasure in , “I Sail the Sea”, illustrated by Aija Jasuna, animation by Natalia Vokhtinskaya.
In December of 2001, Celeste traveled to lower Manhattan with donated books for local schools and gifts for Ladder #13. After presenting a concert for children, whose lives were directly impacted by the World Trade Center tragedy, she produced a CD collection just for them, “Readapalooza for New York Kids”, featuring her single, “America”. Her visit and contributions were recognized by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Department of Education for the State of New York. To learn more, please visit: http://www.16crayons.com
Challenges and Blessings . . .
Celeste Friedman is accustomed to leaping over what to some would be insurmountable obstacles. At the age of thirty-five, she was diagnosed with the crippling disease of rheumatoid arthritis, challenged with disability.
She refuses to give up, enjoying one mere success at a time against all odds. Celeste believes that her disability is a blessing in many ways, leading to opportunities that may have never entered her life. With every audience, young and old, she shares the mastery of music, claiming its healing power is the reason for her own survival.
Sharing her mission and message to organizations that care for disabled veterans, children with disabilities and people of all ages with developmental disabilities, her multi-media presentations are examples of where love helps us to overcome our challenges, as in her song and video, "Love is Gonna Do It", featured at the PRISMS 7th International Conference on Smith-Magenis Syndrome in 2012.
A Musical Anthropologist . . .
Inheriting the influences of the big band sound, Celeste set out several years ago to keep the classics of the 1930’s and 40’s alive, producing programs for the baby-boomer generation and tributes to composers and artists of the World War II era. Her presentations are timeless classics of their own, unveiling a world behind the scenes of such prolific composers as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Her shows honoring the great female vocalists of the 1940’s and 50’s, like Dinah Washington, Patti Page and Sarah Vaughan, led to writing and producing the tribute and one-woman shows, “You’re Still Mine, Patsy Cline”; “A Tribute to A Funny Girl", (Barbra Streisand); "The Music of Irving Berlin"; “Over the Rainbow”- a tribute to Judy Garland; and "Shake, Rattle and Roll"- a salute to the classics of the 1950’s.
The Road Ahead . . .
Named “A Woman to Watch” by Columbus Monthly Magazine, Celeste Friedman never fails to surprise with her multitude of talents. Her most recent book, "Among the Fallen Leaves", (A Journal on the Battlefield of Cancer), unveils her journey with her late mother, Awanna, who fought a valiant battle. Friedman shares highlights from the book and live keyote presentations with caregivers and Hospice volunteers.
From her "O" is for Ohio series, Celeste provides her lecture tour for early education students at area universities, coupled with her eBook, "lyrical portraits along the Great Hopewell Road". The eBook features her complete works of poetry and lyrics from the "O" is for Ohio series, available for download on Kindle and iPad.
Several years ago, she returned home to Newark, Ohio, back to her roots in the rolling hills and ancient lands of the Hopewell civilization. Her recording studio is often occupied by regional singer-songwriters and resident cats. Watch for her forthcoming all original blues collection and you can stream her programs for military veterans on Blog Talk Radio.
Awards and Nominations . . .
2015 Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts nomination
2005 GRAMMY Award nomination, music & education category: "K.I.D.!"
2005 Ohioana Library Association Citation Award in Music and Education
2009 Radio Indy GrIndie Award for “Live at the Bluebird Café” 2010 Indie Track of the Year Awards from the Starliner’s Radio Network, The Netherlands
2009/ 2010 Indie Artist of the Year on the Starliner’s Radio Network in The Netherlands
1995/ 1997 Pat Weaver Award nomination for contributions in television
Ms. Friedman's contributions have been recognized by The Points of Light Foundation, The Ohio State University, Voices of Hope, The Ohio Bicentennial Commission and the Department of Education of The State of New York.
National and International Media Credits . . .
National Public Radio; Music Choice; A Prairie Home Companion; Live! with Regis and Kelly; the ESPN Network. Internationally, her music has garnered global airplay and rave reviews in the U.K., France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Argentina and Australia.
Celeste’s CD, "Live at the Bluebird Cafe", released March 5, 2009, features live performances over the past 15 years from the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville. In 2007, her release "Every Tear I Know" reached #1 in Austria and #4 in Italy.