Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica d’Amato was born on 12 September 1943 in Greenwich Village, New York City (her name changed when she married Geoff Muldaur, with whom she performed in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band).
Although her mother was fond of classical music, Maria grew up liking blues and big-band sounds. Joining the thriving Greenwich Village music scene in the 60s, she played in the Even Dozen Jug Band alongside John Sebastian, Stefan Grossman, Joshua Rifkin and Steve Katz.
After leaving them she joined Kweskin, remaining with him until the band splintered at the end of the 1960s. She then completed two albums with her husband – Pottery Pie (1970) and Sweet Potatoes (1972) – before they were divorced in 1972.
Her first (self-titled) solo effort went platinum in the USA. It contained the classic Midnight At The Oasis (1973), which featured an excellent guitar solo by Amos Garrett.
The album reached #3 in the US charts in 1974, with the single making the US Top 10. A follow-up, I’m A Woman (1975), made the US Top 20.
Muldaur toured America the same year, also playing in Europe for the first time.
The US Top 30 album Waitress In A Donut Shop (1974) saw Muldaur embarking on a more jazz-oriented direction. With sales of her records in decline, though, she was dropped by WEA and subsequently concentrated on recording for smaller labels such as Takoma, Spindrift, Making Waves and the Christian label Myrrh, for whom she released There Is A Love (1982).
Muldaur has never been able to match the success of Midnight At The Oasis but her soulful style of blues and jazz is still in demand. During the late 90s she enjoyed a critical renaissance recording several good albums for Telarc Records.