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Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon  Biography
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Nnenna Freelon has been hailed internationally as "the greatest female vocalist to come along in three decades." Winner of the Billie Holiday Award from the prestigious Academie du Jazz in France and the Eubie Blake Award closer to home, she's also been nominated twice for Grammy Awards.

Surprisingly, after graduating from Simmons College, Nnenna raised three children and had a career in health services in Durham, N.C., before really starting her vocal career. Drawn to Jazz by Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, as well as such vocal groups as the Chi-Lites and the Spinners, she sang occasional club gigs while pursuing a career in health care.

In 1990, at the Southern Arts Federation Jazz Forum in Atlanta, she met pianist, educator and Jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis. Along with Jazzmobile's David Bailey, Marsalis championed the young singer's blossoming career, which led to her signing to Columbia. Soon, Nnenna was touring as the opening act for Ray Charles and Al Jarreau. One of the most refreshingly original voices in Jazz, Nnenna Freelon now tours with her own group and records for Concord Records.

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