Stephanie Porter Combo
Seattle native Stephanie Porter, a naturally-gifted vocalist, has had a passion for music her whole life.
“It's in my inner fabric,” said Porter. “Most of my childhood memories are associated with music in some way.”
When she was a baby, Porter's father made her a reel-to-reel tape of “The Wizard of Oz,” which she listened to almost every night for years.
“Judy Garland's voice amazed me and I would sing along with the tape,” she said. “Not surprisingly, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow' was one of my first songs.”
Her mother, who has always loved Ella Fitzgerald, would pick Porter up and dance with her on her hip to Ella records.
“I think listening to the freedom of Ella's voice soaring over melodies inspired me and helped open my mind at a young age,” said Porter. “We had stacks of records too. I would listen to album after album and heard so many renditions of songs. I didn't have a favorite. I loved hearing all the expressions each artist had. I listened to them all.”
Porter was brought up in a house rich with music. Her family is filled with musicians – from vocalists to pianists to horn players. Her grandfather, Pietro Carrabba performed in bands at the first-ever world's fair. He played in theaters and was a well-respected teacher. He passed his gift on to three of his children. Their children are now working in the music industry as well.
“We had parties that would often turn into jam sessions. They loved to play and I loved to listen,” said Porter. “A grandmother born in 1899, my parents the 1930's, brothers and sisters in the 1950's and 60's and then myself in ‘73. . From room to room, there were different genres of music playing and all were welcome. Opera, big band, jazz, classic rock, disco. you name it. I would sing everything, entertaining anyone who would listen.”