One of the Twin Cities’ hardest-working jazz singers of recent years, Christine Rosholt suddenly died Wednesday. Details of her death have not been made public.
The last message left by the Minneapolis-based vocalist, 46, on her Facebook page was, “Hope to see you tonight,” promoting a gig at Barbette last Thursday. Bassist Graydon Peterson, who backed Rosholt at that gig and some of Rosholt’s many other shows in recent months, said there was no indication of anything wrong with the singer.
“She was always boisterous and bubbly and knew how to work a room,” said Peterson.
Her father, Steve Rosholt, declined to comment on the circumstances of her death but said he and the rest of ther family were touched by the outpouring of support and sentiments from her many fans and friends in the local music scene.
"It's nice people remember her as always being vibrant and cheerful," he said. "I personally was blown away when I would see the audience reaction at her shows."
News of her passing started spreading Wednesday night. Many friends and peers in the music scene have left messages on her Facebook page, including this one from jazz vet Dennis Spears: "I am shocked and saddened by this loss! Sweet sleep, Christine! You will be missed!"
A graduate of Edina High School and alum at the Children’s Theater and the Art Institute of Chicago, Rosholt always followed artistic pursuits but did not start performing her cabaret-style jazz act until in her 30s -- after she spent many nights honing her skills at the piano bar at Nye's, her father said. "She worked her way up from being a self-taught vocalist to a professional."
Rosholt issued her debut album, “Detour Ahead,” in 2006 and really hit the pavement in recent years, performing everywhere from corner bistros to the Jungle Theater and the Dakota. In 2009, she issued a live CD recorded at the Dakota, where she also performed on Dec. 1 to celebrate her latest album, "Pazz."
"It was a great night, and you could really tell she had poured her heart into it," recalled Dakota co-owner Lowell Pickett, who said he respected Rosholt's work ethic most of all. "She was always doing the work it takes to get your name out there, and she succeeded at it.”
A public tribute is in the works at the Dakota, tentatively set for Jan. 10. The family is not planning any other public memorial.