Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Washington Convention Center
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan has been selected for a return performance at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) 43rd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner Gala at the Washington Convention Center in the nation’s capital on Saturday, September 21, 2013 starting at 6:00 p.m. The CBCF event is the premier conference on legislative and policy issues impacting the African-American community.
Stephanie Jordan who performed at the ALC following hurricane Katrina said, “I am honored to be invited back to perform for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference much heralded Phoenix Awards Dinner fundraiser. For it was entertainers such as Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke and other early supporters of the Civil Rights movement from the entertainment industry who understood that “It Starts With You” to be their call to affect change. It is their steadfast approach in the quest for equality which inspires me as we move forward into the next 50 years.”
Jordan recalls that “Lena Horne was very involved in the 1963 March on Washington and spoke alongside Medgar Evers shortly before his murder; Mahalia Jackson has be credited with encouraging Dr. Mr. Luther King to improvise on his famous “I have a dream” speech by crying out “Tell them about dream, Martin!” during his address; Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” became a rallying call for the Civil Rights Movement; and Harry Belafonte’s role as a social activist is well documented and continues today. As performers it is imperative that we recognize our role and responsibility to help shape society and affect public policy.”
Jordan will be accompanied by her brother trumpeter Marlon Jordan, and the Clarence Knight Orchestra. Jordan is hopeful that President Obama will be in the audience. This would continue Jordan’s history of performing before high profile audience members; she 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.
Thousands of attendees from across the country and around the world attend this four-day conference to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing black America and the Diaspora. ALC provides the platform for collaboration and policy development to occur among international, national, state and local leaders and their constituents through regional forums, national summits, and policy-centered conferences. This year's ALC theme, It Starts With You, is a call to action to be and lead the positive change needed in public policy. ALC provides an African-American perspective on public policy with thought-provoking and educational policy forums, community education workshops and policy briefs.
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 whose musical began in the DC area 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.
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."