Julie's performances are always fresh and alive, but they're rooted in a short life full of experiences. The daughter of a Sicilian meat cutter and a cool blonde Norwegian beauty, Julie grew up in Seattle's multiethnic Ballard neighborhood and attended Western Washington University.
" There was music playing constantly in my house. My parents played all the great singers on their stereo — Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Dinah Washington, Mel Torme. It was bombarded into my psyche. I didn't have any choice."
She originally intended to have a career as a teacher, but the call of the stage proved too strong.
" I was on holiday [in the Caribbean] and a French father and son heard me sitting in with the hotel band and said I should come to Paris. So I did." She stayed for four years. Among her venues were the town's most fashionable and chic clubs: Le Palace, Les Bouchones, the Hollywood Savoy, the Hotel LaFayette, the Hotel George V, the Plaza Athenee, and a cozy piano bar amid the lacy iron girders of the Eiffel Tower.
In 1985 she returned to Seattle, the "home port" from which she's since traveled the world. She's performed in Istanbul, Rio de Janiero, Istanbul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, London, Hamburg, Sicily, Brussels, New York, Los Angeles (at the Palomino Club and Café Largo), San Francisco, Ketchikan, the Canary Islands, and on board international cruise ships. While she was in New York, choreographer Mark Morris created a dance piece, Mythologies, around Julie's singing.
Whenever she was back home, she starred in "The Julie Cascioppo Experience," a weekly musical cabaret revue at the Pink Door restaurant in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market. She describes the show as a series of "mini one-woman operas," performed in the guises of some 20 different deadpan comic characters. "All the characters sang, as if everybody always sang.… I think I used to hide behind the characterizations because I didn't think I was that good of a singer. I like to be funny. I like to help people forget their problems." Julie's characters were loved by thousands at the Pink Door and other venues, and on regular broadcast and cable TV appearances.
In 2002 she reinvented herself as a more integrated solo artist. "All the creativity I used to put into my characters, I now try to put into my focus, into my tunes."
Today, Julie's performances still offer a lot of fun. But the lightness is just part of a full range of moods, from the sweet and sultry to the tart and saucy, to the incredibly depressing. It's all part of one persoanlity, one incredible performer.