BATON ROUGE, LA - New Orleans’ jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan will headline Southern University’s "1st Annual Classical Jazz Concert Series on the Bluff" on Friday, July 24, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. on the campus’ Mayberry Lawn (inclement weather location Royal Cotillion Ballroom Smith-Brown Memorial Union).
Jordan’s concert will be preceded by a workshop titled "Jazz Pilates with Stephanie Jordan" from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m., inside the University’s Seymour Gymnasium. A certified fitness instructor, Jordan has developed her own Pilates technique which incorporates her favorite jazz tunes into her instructional classes. Both the concert and the workshop are free and open to the public.
Jordan’s performance will be the third of free summer outdoor concerts hosted by Southern University Chancellor Kofi Lomotey. The "Jazz on the Bluff" concert series initiative is funded through Title III funds and the Southern University Office of the Chancellor and is supported in part by funds from the Louisiana State Arts Council and the Louisiana Division of the Arts and by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge through the Decentralized Arts Funding Program.
In addition to honoring the life and work of the late Alvin Batiste; creator of the Batiste’s Jazz Institute at Southern University, Chancellor Lomotey views the jazz series as a means of attracting people from outside the university to the campus. Stephanie, a niece of the famed clarinetist will fill the Bluff with her Big Band sound as she continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards. The Stephanie Jordan Large Band includes arranger Mike Esneault on piano, Herman Jackson on drums, Mark Brooks on bass, David Mooney on guitar, and a horn section made up of Bobby Campo and Marc Chatters, trumpet; Roderick Paulen, tenor sax; Jason Mingledork, baritone sax; and Craig Clein, trombone.
Jordan’s performance will be the third in the series; other performers include Saxophonist Wess Anderson which kicked off the series on July 10; Saxophonist Michael Phillips on July 17, and Bassist Leon Lee Dorsey on July 30. Lomotey said of the series, "It’s the musical time frame of such jazz musicians as John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Ron Carter."
Stephanie, 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. 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 depth of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole . . ."
Last Fall, she performed a stunning concert with the Lionel Hampton Big Band during the Official Centennial Birthday Celebration in honor of Mr. Hampton at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans.
Selected for the cover of the World's Who's Who in Jazz; "SHOWBIZ, PIONEERS, BEST SINGERS, ENTERTAINERS AND MUSICIANS FROM 1606 TO THE PRESENT," the London Monthly Herald declares, "Ms. Stephanie Jordan ... reminds me of the flashy dashy days of Josephine Baker at the Lido in Paris, the author referred to her as "The classy lady of modern Jazz!"
The Washington Post boasts of her Kennedy Center performance, "Contributing intimate and thoroughly enjoyable interludes were . . . A poised, soulfully articulate vocalist, Jordan turned in a performance that warmly evoked the influence of Abbey Lincoln, Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae and other jazz greats."
"Stephanie Jordan set the anthem on a slow burn Sunday night (Feb 17, 2008), delivering the most smoldering rendition of the song since Marvin Gaye performed it at another NBA All-Star Game more than 20 years ago... Another blazing light in our constellation" writes Chris Rose of the New Orleans Times-Picayune on her performance of the National Anthem.
"After Hurricane Katrina, an extraordinary cohort of singers-among them, in no particular order, Shirley Caesar, Aaron and Arthur Neville, Cassandra Wilson, Diane Reeves, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, James Taylor, and Bette Midler-convened at the Rose Theatre to perform a benefit relief concert for the victims of the catastrophic. On that memorable night; none sang with greater authority or emotional resonance than Stephanie Jordan, who enthralled the packed house and a national PBS NPR audience of millions with an ascendant reading of "Here's To Life ..." Jordan brought the concert to its climax, rendering the Phyllis Molinary lyric-an instant classic when the late Shirley Horn recorded it in 1991-with impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, and a personal point of view, acknowledging Horn's antecedent version while drawing independent conclusions about tempo, phrasing, and dynamics. In the process, Jordan ... revealed a fully evolved tonal personality, one that can be mentioned in a conversation about such distinguished mentors and influences as Horn, Abbey Lincoln, and Nancy Wilson" wrote Ted Panken for the Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Stephanie Jordan was recently inducted into New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Stars. She 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 classical violinist Rachel Jordan.
For more information, visit www.StephanieJordan.com.