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Sheila Jordan
Sheila Jordan  Biography
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Biography
World renowned vocal stylist Sheila Jordan is a product of the rich Detroit Jazz legacy. Beginning her performing career in the ‘40s, she would regularly sit in at local clubs like The Bluebird and The Sudan when big-time Jazz stars would come through her hometown. One of these stars was the legendary Charlie Parker, who Ms. Jordan names as her "musical guru."

Moving to New York during the last days of the bebop era in the early ‘50s, she performed at clubs and jam sessions with giants like bassist Charles Mingus and pianist Herbie Nichols, and studied with the groundbreaking pianist and visionary Lennie Tristano. Noted for her creativity and individualistic style among the hipper critics and musicians, Ms. Jordan’s first significant recognition came in 1962 from her Blue Note recording, 'Portrait of Sheila,' and her startling work on 'You Are My Sunshine' from the great George Russell’s 'Outer View' album.

After working with innovative trombonist Roswell Rudd’s group in the late ‘70s, Ms. Jordan joined Steve Kuhn’s quartet where she met bassist Harvie Swartz, with whom she soon after formed a separate duo.

These days she still travels extensively, performing nationally and internationally as a soloist, with the Sheila Jordan/Harvie Swartz Duo, and with her own quartet. A two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, she has won the 'DownBeat' Magazine Critics Poll’s Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition vocal category an amazing nine times and has placed in the top five of its established talent every year since 1980.

Despite her busy performing career, Ms. Jordan has been conducting vocal workshops at New York’s City College since 1978, is a faculty member of "Jazz in July" at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is a visiting professor at Stanford University. She’s also taught at New York’s New School for Social Research and the Manhattan School of Music, and has served as vocal teacher at the Musica Hochschule in Graz, Austria.

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