Washington, D.C. - On February 21, 2009 the Black Leadership Forum, Inc. will host the 2008 Lamplighter Awards at the Historic Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street, NW, Washington DC 20009. Founded in 1977, the Black Leadership Forum, Inc. has honored and empowered African Americans and corporations that continue to advocate for effective change in the community, through public policy. The 30th Lamplighter Awards will begin with a 5:30pm black tie reception followed by the awards program at 7:00p.m. The event will feature New Orleans Jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan. She will be accompanied by her brother, former Columbia Records recording artist Marlon Jordan and the renowned Dr. Clarence Knight Orchestra.
The Black Leadership Forum, Inc. is an organization committed to ensuring that the needs of the African American community are addressed and executed through effective public policy. The Lamplighter Awards were created to honor the corporations and individuals who demonstrate and advocate for effective public policies on behalf of this community. The Awards highlight the contributions in the areas of: Leadership, Civil Rights, Corporate Leadership, Public Service, Emerging Leaders, Arts, Entrepreneurial, Religious Leadership, Scholarship, Equity and Justice Award.
The 2008 honorees includes: Dr. Dorothy Height, President Emeritus of National Council of Negro Women; Congressman James Clyburn; Congresswoman Donna Edwards; Former Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones; Karen Bass, Speaker of the California State Assembly; Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP; Danny Glover, Actor/Activist; Dr. Joanne Martin, Founder and Executive Director of National Great Blacks in Wax Museum; Judith Brown-Dianis, Esq., Advancement Project; Eric H. Holder, Jr., U.S. Attorney General; Charles J. Ogletree , Professor, Harvard Law School; Jurnee Smollet, Actress; Hill Harper, Actor; Gregory Moore, NAACP National Voter Fund; Syndicated Communications; and Wells Fargo. We invite you to join our celebration of these great leaders and honor their accomplishments at the Lamplighter Awards.
Jordan, a graduate of Howard University returned to the Washington area following the devastation of hurricane Katrina for a two stay in Silver Spring, Maryland. Jordan said she was overwhelmed by the support she received from people and organizations in Maryland. ‘‘The state of Maryland was my second home. It was a safe haven," she said. "So any chance I get to perform in the DC area I view as an opportunity to say thanks."
Jordan’s performance will include a special jazz rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, which was adopted in 1919 by the NAACP as "The Negro National Anthem."
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."
Following the national televised Jazz at the Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert, 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 . . ."
"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.
"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." Framed by her siblings Marlon (trumpet), Kent (flute), and Rachel (violin), each, like their sister, a native New Orleanian newly uprooted from their home. 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. He continued "every so often a new voice stands up and proclaims itself, but few do so with such supreme depth and understated soul."
Jordan’s four shows in October 2006 during Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Singers Over Manhattan" series left the audience wanting for more.For more information please visit our website at www.blackleadershipforum.org or www.thelincolntheatre.org. Tickets available at www.ticketmaster.com or call 202-397-7328. To learn more about Stephanie Jordan, please visit www.StephanieJordan.com.