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Sheila Jordan grew up in Summerhill, Pennsylvania, before returning to her birthplace of Detroit, Michigan, in 1940. She sang and played piano in jazz clubs in Detroit. She was a member of the trio Skeeter, Mitch, and Jean (Skeeter Spight, Leroi Mitchell, and Jordan was "Jean"), which wrote lyrics to music by Charlie Parker. They went to Parker's performances in Detroit, met him, and he would ask them to sing.
Photo Credit: Chris Drukker
In 1951, Jordan moved to New York City and studied harmony and music theory with Lennie Tristano and Charles Mingus, but she concentrated on the music of Charlie Parker. Jordan and Parker became friends before his death in 1955. She refers to him as one of her teachers. From 1952–1962, she was married to Duke Jordan, who played piano in Parker's band.
In the early 1960s, Jordan performed at the Page Three Club in Greenwich Village with pianist Herbie Nichols, and at other bars and clubs in New York City. For much of the 1960s, she withdrew from clubs to raise her daughter, and she sang in church instead. She was a typist and legal secretary for twenty years with little time to concentrate on music until the age of 58.
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In 1974, Jordan was Artist in Residence at City College of New York and taught there from 1978–2005. In 2006, she was presented the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Lifetime Achievement Award and celebrated 28 years as an Adjunct Professor of Music. She has taught at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Vermont Jazz Center, Interplay Jazz and Arts, as well as teaching international workshops.
Jordan is a songwriter who works in bebop and free jazz. In addition to the aforementioned musicians, she has recorded with the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Cameron Brown, Carla Bley, and Steve Swallow. In the UK, she appeared with former John Dankworth Band vocalist Frank Holder. She has led recordings for Blue Note, Blackhawk, East Wind, ECM, Grapevine, Muse, Palo Alto, and SteepleChase
In 2012, she received the NEA Jazz Masters Award. Her biography, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan, was written by vocalist and educator Ellen Johnson and was published in 2014. (Source: Wikipedia)
Official Website: http://www.sheilajordanjazz.com
Ron Aprea: composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist, has performed with Woody Herman, Les Elgart, Tito Puente, Frank Foster, Buddy Morrow, Billy May, Charlie Persip, Nat Adderley, Lionel Hampton, and Louis Armstrong, among many others.
In 1974, Ron Aprea recorded with John Lennon and Elton John on the album entitled, Walls and Bridges. The all-star horn section included Howard Johnson, Frank Vicari, and Steve Madeo. Ron was a featured soloist on the jazz-gospel album, Free to Be Free. He also wrote, arranged, and produced his own album, Ronnie April's Positive Energy Volume 1. Ron had his own TV special on WNYC, and was a featured soloist on Broadway's Song of Singapore.
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Angela DeNiro: is a native New Yorker, earned her degree in Music, and is a composer and arranger, as well as vocalist. In addition to Angela's jazz singing and scatting abilities, she has also done extensive studio work, with various jingles to her credit. She is currently performing in New York jazz clubs with saxophonist Ron Aprea. Their quintet features Angela scatting along with the alto saxophone, performing the music of jazz greats Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and Duke Ellington, as well as such classic composers as Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Tad Dameron, and Michel LeGrand. She also has a thriving voiceover business, which keeps her very busy these days!
Angela DeNiro and her husband, Ron Aprea, co-hosted a weekly jazz radio show on WSHR, 91.9 FM, New York, for two years. Their show, Rush-Hour Rendezvous, featured the music of jazz greats old and new, as well as interesting conversations and interviews with legendary jazz artists.
GingerNewYork found on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) since launching in November, 2010, has been showcasing the "Kool Kats…Gotham Nights" greats of music and culture of New York and beyond. What defines GingerNewYork is its host Ginger Broderick's unique insight, connection to and pulse on the music and culture of Gotham making GingerNewYork one of the most sought after programs to appear on.
GingerNewYork can be seen in Manhattan on Time Warner Cable Channel 34 and HD Channel 1995, Fios Channel 33, and RCN Channel 82, every Friday afternoon at 2pm EST. It can also be seen live streaming on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network's website, www.mnn.org, Channels 1 and 5.
Show Contact Information:
GingerNewYork 'Kool Kats...Gotham Nights'
Photo of Ms. Broderick Courtesy of Rasheem Morris
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