NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 7, 2008 (Sylvain Music Notes) Jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan will sing the national anthem along side Grammy Award-winning jazz and classical saxophonist Branford Marsalis internationally acclaimed guitarist Jonathan Dubose before the start of 57th NBA All-Star Game at the New Orleans Arena on Sunday, February 17, 2008. Stephanie Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall, began to receive national recognition following her stunning during the nationally televised Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes Magazine writes, "Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening. Her haunting rendition of (Here's to Life) this bittersweet ode associated with Shirley Horn was delivered with uncanny poise and a dept of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole..."
Like other Katrina victims, Jordan is still rebounding from her loses," I had eight feet of water in my house, and lost everything - pianos, sheet music, my entire wardrobe, a singer's wardrobe." Shortly thereafter, she and her brother Marlon embark during the fall of 2005 as 'Jazz Ambassadors' on a European Tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center to thank the people of Europe for their support of New Orleans and the Gulf Region following Hurricane Katrina.
Jordan says that she is extremely grateful to the NBA for providing her with an opportunity to sing before a world stage. "Music is the one savior I have right now. I thank God every day Jazz feeds the spirit. The more you give, the more you receive back."
Jordan is the fifth performer to emerge from a family of New Orleans bred musicians. As the daughter of saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Stephanie's musical roots run deep. Her siblings include flutist Kent, trumpeter Marlon, and violinist Rachel Jordan.
Other performers for the game includes three-time Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr., joined by an extraordinary lineup of New Orleans-themed musical performances featuring some of the biggest names in the Bayou including Jonathan Batiste, Marc Broussard and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Davell Crawford, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis, Art Neville, Ivan Neville, Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Amanda Shaw, Trombone Shorty and Allen Toussaint. .
Connick and Marsalis collaborated on the evening’s performance lineup creating a unique musical set that will not only give fans a taste of New Orleans jazz, funk and blues, but will also celebrate the rebirth of their beloved hometown in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The performances will air live on TNT, Score Canada, ESPN Radio, and in 215 countries and territories beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET.
Connick will serve as musical director for an unparalleled halftime show featuring four original compositions performed by four pairs of pianists who span the spectrum of New Orleans jazz including Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Davell Crawford, Art Neville, Ivan Neville, Jonathan Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, and Harry Connick Jr. and his Big Band.
Marsalis will serve as musical director for the highly-anticipated All-Star Player introductions featuring a set of high energy big band melodies composed by Marsalis and performed by the acclaimed Rebirth Brass Band. The performance will also feature the dynamic musical stylings of award-winning trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and Offbeat Magazine’s 2007 Performer of the Year Trombone Shorty who will introduce the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star teams. Marsalis will also direct the U.S. national anthem performance featuring vocals by Stephanie Jordan accompanied by internationally acclaimed guitarist Jonathan Dubose. Canadian R&B singer, songwriter, and actress Deborah Cox, whose 1998 hit single "Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here" held the record for the longest-running No.1 single on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart, will perform the Canadian anthem.
"New Orleans is a vibrant music Mecca and I'm proud to call this great city my home," said Harry Connick Jr. "Branford and I are truly grateful to the NBA for its commitment to put New Orleans and our extraordinary musicians on a global stage for the whole world to see."
Other New Orleans artists will also be featured at various NBA-sponsored activities during the weekend.