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Stephanie Jordan Tribute to Lena Horne at N.O. Jazz Fest

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The 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell (April 24-26 & April 30-May 3) will celebrate 40 years of musical and cultural history at this year's star-studded event.

The Stephanie Jordan Large Band will perform during the first weekend of Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 3:45 p.m. in a special Tribute to Lena Horne. in the WWOZ Jazz Tent.

Jordan will fill the WWOZ Jazz Tent with a Big Band sound as she continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards. Started in 1970, the Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to showcase the most important names in music history alongside many of Louisiana's favorite entertainers. A true heritage festival, Jazz Fest stands alone in presenting the highest caliber artists in such varied genres as gospel, blues, traditional and contemporary jazz, rock, pop, R&B, Cajun, zydeco and much more.

Stephanie Jordan who has had the privileged of mentoring under the guidance of Shirley Horn.

Lena Horne who actually served as my introduction to great jazz singers. As a little girl I wanted to be Lena Horne and now I want to do something in her honor while she is still with us. I think it is most appropriate to do so at the 40th Anniversary of Jazz Fest.
Stephanie Jordan

Fittingly. Jordan's Jazz Fest performance precedes that of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on the same stage.

Stephanie, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall, began to receive national recognition following her stunning performance during the nationally televised Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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 dept of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat King Cole.
Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes Magazine

Last Fall, she performed a stunning concert with the Lionel Hampton Big Band during the Official Centennial Birthday Celebration in honor of Mr. Hampton at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans.

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.

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
Chris Rose of the New Orleans Times
Picayune on her performance of the National Anthem.

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..."

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
Ted Panken for the Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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 was recently inducted into New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Stars. She is the fifth performer to emerge from a family of New Orleans bred musicians. As the daughter of saxophonist Sir Edward “Kidd" Jordan, Stephanie's musical roots run deep. Her siblings include flutist Kent, trumpeter Marlon, and classical violinist Rachel Jordan.

This story appears courtesy of Sylvain Music Notes.
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