NEW ORLEANS, LA: People United for Armstrong Park presents Stephanie Jordan on Thursday, September 12, at 5:00 PM during week two of its nine week Jazz in the Park series which is held at the Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans. Jordan’s act precedes Davell Crawford who follows her opening act on that night. The hours of Jazz in the Park are now noon to 8PM, with the Treme Nights after party happening at Kermit Ruffin’s Treme Speakeasy from 8PM to 11PM. Kermit Ruffins will lead a second line to his place every week after the close of the shows. Admission to the Jazz in the Park series is free and open to the public.
Jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan will fill the air with her signature sound of great jazz standards. In reviewing her debut CD, The New York City Jazz Record proclaimed “Stephanie Jordan's cohesive album The Stephanie Jordan Big Band: Yesterday When I Was Young (A Tribute to Lena Horne) is a straight-ahead knockout. Since surviving Hurricane Katrina, Jordan picked herself up and this album unites her with Horne's kindred steadfast spirit. The music is a tribute to persistence, a quality Jordan's voice embodies.”
Jordan is a featured performer for The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 43rd Annual Legislative Conference during the CBC Phoenix Awards Dinner GALA which takes place the following week in the nation’s capital at the Washington Convention Center. President Obama is expected to be in the audience. Jordan has also had the honor of singing for Vice President Joe Biden as well as being selected by the National Urban League to sing to Stevie Wonder during NUL’s 2012 National Conference. Jordan also 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.
While she has performed on such stellar stages as the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the NBA All-Star Game, Chicago's Harris Theater, the Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, the inaugural International Jazz Day which was celebrated by millions worldwide during an all-star sunrise concert in New Orleans' Congo Square that included jazz luminaries Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, and others, and on the big screen in Lee Daniels' production of The Paperboy; Jordan says that there truly is no place like home" and welcomes the rare opportunity to perform before a New Orleans audience.
The Washington Post boasts of her Kennedy Center performance, “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 her performance with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Chicago Tribune’s leading art critic Howard Reich wrote, “The woman can sing and indisputably knows how to reach out across the footlights . . . bringing heft to music of the Gershwins and Cole Porter without pushing volume levels. Clearly she values plush sound and knows how to produce it.” Music critic James Walker added, “Stephanie Jordan . . . stepped in and simply mesmerized the near capacity Harris Theater crowd with a sparkling performance that surely put her in good stead with the astute Chicago audience. . . . “
Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes Magazine writes of her Jazz at Lincoln Center performance; “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 . . .”
Jazz at Lincoln Center notes, every so often a new voice stands up and proclaims itself, but few do so with such supreme depth and understated soul."
The Congo Square Arts and Crafts Village which opens at noon is a great place to grab lunch and visit the thirty-eight vendors offering original handcrafted items for sale. In addition, Direct Select Seafood, Woody & Son, and Pat O’Brien’s with their beloved Hurricanes and Bloody Marys will be on hand. The Yisrael Trio provides music from noon until 4PM.
Second lines are once again a welcome and integral part of the Jazz in the Park experience, and each week a different social aid and pleasure club will strut their stuff. The weekly second line begins at 4PM, with music by Da Truth Brass Band. This initiative is possible thanks to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, who along with the People United for Armstrong Park have a vested interest in the preservation and continued growth of New Orleans culture.
As in previous seasons, the Marketplace at Armstrong Park, in cooperation with the Institute of Community Development, opens at 3PM and is available for food and grocery purchases until 8PM.
Jazz in the Park is made possible by the support of the NOLA Brewing Company, which has been with the series from the very beginning. The series is proud to be sponsored by Old New Orleans Rum, Fleurty Girl, The American Music Research Foundation, the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, New Orleans Ice Cream, Bissap Breeze, C&G Construction, Basin Street Foundation, and New Orleans South Africa Connection. Media sponsors: OffBeat, WWOZ, WWL-TV, WGNO, BreakThru Media, New Orleans Agenda, and Nola LIVE.
The People United for Armstrong Park is a volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that led the community effort to re-open Armstrong Park. Our primary work focuses on coordinating and collaborating with individuals and institutions to catalyze Armstrong Park into a premier hub for the city’s cultural economy. We aim to connect individuals in the community to their culture and history by establishing the park as a nurturing, living environment for the arts, and provide opportunities to ensure their success and accomplishments in their chosen craft. Please visit armstrongpark.org for more information.
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