NEW ORLEANS (Sylvain Music Notes) In continuation of his tradition of highlighting great singers, Jazz/R&B legend Norman Connors will feature New Orleans’ jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan in concert during the celebration of Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club 10th Anniversary on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5, 2009 for two shows each night at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm. For individual ticket information and reservation, please visit www.SweetLorrainesJazz.com or call (504) 945-9654.
Having created virtually single-handedly the "Quiet Storm" genre with such classic soulful-yet-jazzy hits as "You Are My Starship," "Betcha By Golly Wow," "Valentine Love," "Love from the Sun" and more, Norman Connors has front some great recordings with vocal stars such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofill, Jean Carne, Michael Henderson and others. His latest CD, Star Power is a beautiful new Norman Connors album in the vein of his greatest masterpieces, with an all-star lineup of guest vocalists and musicians (featuring Howard Hewett, Bobby Lyle, Ray Parker, Jr, Peabo Bryson, Michael Henderson, and Antoinette) delivering stunning originals and well-known classics including a brand new version of "You Are My Starship."
Connors is best known for his major R & B records; however his roots are steeped in jazz music. Raised in the same Philadelphia neighborhood as Bill Cosby, Connors was exposed to jazz extensively. As a child drummer, he once sat in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane performance he attended while in middle school. Connors went on to study music at Philly's Temple University and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. An accomplished drummer, composer, arranger, producer, and headliner, Norman Connors has collaborated with other greats such as Herbie Hancock, Archie Shepp, Pharaoh Sanders, Carlos Garnett, Stanley Clarke and Gary Bartz.
Stephanie Jordan will join Norman Connors onstage as she performs some of the female lead from his long list of love classics. Jordan’s vocal style has been described as having "impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, and a personal point of view . . . while drawing independent conclusions about tempo, phrasing, and dynamics."
The Stephanie Jordan Big Band will open the night as she continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards. In addition to arranger Mike Esneault on piano, Stephanie will feature members of her musical family, including Rachel Jordan on violin, Marlon Jordan on trumpet, and Kent Jordan on flute.
Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall, began to receive national recognition following her stunning performance during the nationally televised Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. JazzTimes Magazine states "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 depth of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole . . ."
As a part of the celebration, Sweet Lorraine’s will also host the Sweet Lorraine’s Community Jazz Festival; a free day-long music extravaganza on Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, 2009, culminating with the tradition Black Men of Labor Second Line Parade which begins at 3:00 pm on that Sunday. The Community Festival celebrates more than sixty years of combined service in the entertainment business by Paul Sylvestre, Jr. and his late parents, Paul & Lorraine Sylvestre.
The outdoor extravaganza will be held in the immediate vicinity of the club (bordered by Saint Claude Avenue, Touro St, and Pauger St.). The Community Jazz Festival showcases and honors New Orleans music and musicians. Those stalwarts who are on the front lines in keeping the spirit of the music, first and foremost, in the hearts and minds of the world’s Jazz lovers! The line-up includes, recognizably, Kermit Ruffins, Charmaine Neville, and the Treme Brass Band, just to name a few.
Sweet Lorraine's is located adjacent to the French Quarter at 1931 St. Claude Avenue. It has been featured in Essence and Travel & Leisure Magazine, while USA Today rates Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club as one of the Top 10 Jazz Clubs in the country.