NEW ORLEANS (10/12/09) On Thursday, October 15th New Orleans’ jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan is the featured performer for the opening night of the historic Polk Theatre’s "Best Music Venues" series. Located in Lakeland, Florida as the vision of John E. Melton, the Polk Theatre was built during a golden age in the United States during the Roaring Twenties at a time when jazz thrived . . . it was a place of magic and wonder!
The architect, J.E. Casale, an Italian-born immigrant, recreated a Mediterranean village in the heart of Central Florida. Flanked by Italianate walls with niches, sconces, and faux balconies and windows, the patron’s eye was drawn toward the stage and the full scale Italian renaissance "townhouse" setting that dominates the Polk’s interior.
Stephanie 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."
Jordan earned acclaim for her appearance at a Hurricane Katrina relief concert hosted by New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. JazzTimes Magazine writes "Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening . . . Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole . . ."
According to THE LEDGER , "The six-show schedule also includes a performance by Shirley Jones, familiar to baby boomers from the 1970s TV show "The Partridge Family," and a holiday concert by finalists from a current TV show, "American Idol."
"Our focus this year was to be multi-generational and to improve our appeal to all age groups," executive director Dale Anderson said . . .
"What we're really excited about with this variety is really getting the word out that the Polk Theatre is alive and well and thriving and bringing some exciting variety to the community,"" Anderson said.
Jordan's current show; "A Tribute to Lena Horne" continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards. Stephanie who has had the privileged of mentoring under the guidance of Shirley Horn says that it was actually "Lena Horne served as my introduction to great jazz singers. As a little girl I wanted to be Lena Horne and now I want to do something in her honor while she is still with us. That is why I have chosen to include some of Lena Horn’s favorite tunes to my show."
The Stephanie Jordan Large Band will include two siblings from her musical family for the Polk Theatre performance; classical violinist Rachel Jordan, a professor of music at Jackson State University; and Columbia recording artist, jazz trumpeter Marlon Jordan.
Jordan performed at the private celebration ‘Oprah Winfrey and Friends of Susan Taylor’ at New York City's ESPACE in honor of Susan Taylor's 37 years of service to Essence magazine. She was invited specifically to sing Susan’s favorite jazz tune, Here’s to Life. Stephanie has turned the tune most identified with her mentor Shirley Horn into her signature song.
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 in her silk green dress catches your eyes. She reminds me of the flashy dashy days of Josephine Baker at the Lido in Paris."
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 and Marlon Jordan 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. The countries included Bucharest, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine.
Ms. Jordan performed the national anthem with Branford Marsalis at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. She has appeared live on NPR Talk of the Nation, the Kennedy Center, Jazz Standard New York, Central Park, Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, St. Croix Blue Bay Jazz Fest, Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, Chicago JazzFest Heritage, Glenwood Springs, Co., the New Orleans Ladies of Jazz, Adagio’s Jazz Club in Savannah, Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, Southern University of Baton Rouge’s Gala on Bluff, Southern University at New Orleans’ Annual Bash IV honoring SUNO’s 50th Anniversary, Jackson State University Alumni New Orleans’s Chapter, Sweet Lorraine’s in New Orleans and is a regular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Stephanie has performed with and opened for Doug Carne, Norman Connors, NaJee, Roy Ayres, and Howard Hewitt. She has collaborated with her sister, Rachel in a fully staged concert with strings from the Louisiana Philharmonic and her Jazz Quintet entitled "Stephanie with Strings." A version of this performance featuring her brother, Kent was repeated with the Alabama Symphony. She has performed with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra during Jazzmobile’s "Great Jazz on the Great Hill" in Central Park, New York. Jordan 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.
Stephanie made her debut at Takoma Station Jazz Club where she joined the Doug Carne Band and has performed at many of the Washington, D.C. jazz haunts such as Twins Jazz Lounge, Blues Alley, and Carter Baron Amphitheater. Stephanie has also appeared at the opening of the Schomburg Center of the New York Public Library, Langston Hughes Auditorium in New York City, the Marciac Jazz Festival in France, and Jazz Aspen. She accepted an extended engagement at "The Palace" Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey and upon her return became a regular-featured performer at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. Recognized internationally, the Sud Ouest French publication calls her "unbelievably superb."