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Sheila Jordan In Berkeley: Master Class Dec. 2, Concert Tribute Dec. 3

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Sheila Jordan
NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan will be in Berkeley in early December to teach, to sing, and to be honored. She is leading a master class on Sunday 12/2, at 12:00 noon, at the Jazzschool, and will be the guest of honor at a Jazzschool fundraiser to be held on Monday 12/3, at 8:00 pm, across the street at the Freight & Salvage.

“The ‘participant’ portion of the workshop is sold out,” says Laurie Antonioli, the Director of the Jazzschool’s Vocal Program as well as the musical director for the Jordan tribute, “which means that if you want to get up and sing, those slots are filled. However, do come and be an auditor. You will get just as much out of it, you can ask questions and meet Sheila and watch what we do with the singers brave enough to get up and sing in front of everyone.

“It will change your life. Really. Meeting Sheila, at the age of 84, doing what she does and spreading the message of love, jazz, bebop, singing, and staying fresh for 60 years of making this music, is well worth the price of admission. And then come hear her sing the next night. It’s going to be an historic event. All of it. Plus, there will be free food.”

The December 3 concert is the 4th annual fundraiser for the Jazzschool’s Mark Murphy Vocal Jazz Scholarship. Whereas in past years the focus was firmly on Murphy, his music, and his influence (the man himself was in attendance at the 2011 event), this year the fundraiser’s honoree is Sheila Jordan. Jordan will not only be on hand to enjoy the performances of Kitty Margolis, Madeline Eastman, Ed Reed, and Laurie Antonioli, she plans to sing several numbers herself. Accompanists are Matt Clark on piano, John Shifflett on bass, and Jason Lewis on drums.

“I’m overwhelmed that all these beautiful singers would honor me,” says Jordan. “I got where I am because I never gave up. In fact, I was not a full-time professional until I was 58 years old! These West Coast singers have stuck together through all the years—there’s no competition and this is a very rare thing. Creating a scholarship in Mark’s name is fantastic. He is, to me, the greatest male jazz singer and always has been.”

In addition to the performances, vocalist and Jazzschool instructor Ellen Johnson will present an audiovisual tribute drawn from photos, video clips, and stories she’s compiled in the course of writing a book on Jordan.

Sunday, December 2, 12:00 noon, Sheila Jordan Master Class at the Jazzschool, 2087 Addison Street, Berkeley. Auditor tickets are $50. For information, call 510-845-5373.

Monday, December 3, 8:00 pm, “The Life and Music of NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan” at the Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley. Tickets are $26.50 advance, $28.50 at the door. Purchase tickets ahead of time, as this event is expected to sell out.

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