Stephanie was told early on in her career that she sounded like June Christy – even before she knew who June was. As she studied and listened – she heard the similarity and grew closer to her music. Ken Poston of the L.A. Institute for Jazz invited her in 1999 to perform with Kenton composer/arranger Pete Rugolo (along with his 20-piece big band), the famed A&R man who discovered Nat Cole and produced the famous “Miles Davis CD “Kind of Blue”. This concert took place in Newport Beach, CA for over 1,000 Kenton-ites. It was the first time the band
had done a tribute to June with Pete and Stephanie was introduced and received 5 standing ovations through the most magical program. The band featured some of the original Kenton band players including alto saxophonist Bud Shank and guitarist Al Viola. This opened up a world for Stephanie who was able to attain the Kenton/Rugolo big band charts and perform them around the country.
As a result of this concert, Stephanie recorded a June Christy tribute CD “Lullaby in Rhythm” (VSOP) which also featured saxophonist Harry Allen. To date, it is still her most popular CD and a delight to Kenton/Christy fans the world over.
She performs this show actively and shares the wonder of June Christy's “Cool School” style of singing which she has re-enacted for Ken Poston’s festivals in the years following – four more times – one of which was an entire festival entitled “Something Cool” in tribute to June.