Stephanie Jordan sings Home from The Wiz
New Orleans jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan is honored to have been requested by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to sing a big band with strings version of the classic tune "Home" from the Broadway musical "The Wiz" during Saturday's August 29th Katrina 10 Commemoration: The Power of Community at the Smoothie King Center.
President Bill Clinton, New Orleans residents, faith leaders, and advocates who over the last ten years helped the City recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, will take part in the public commemoration and celebration of the city's resilience. Hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien, this major event will be held on the official anniversary of Katrina's landfall, at the Smoothie King Center. In addition to the Stephanie Jordan Big Band, musical and cultural performance will include Multi-Grammy nominated R&B and jazz recording artist Ledisi; Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band; John Boutte; Tonya Boyd Cannon, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux; Warren Easton Charter High School Marching Band and Dumpstaphunk.
Jordan said that she struggled with the ideal of including "Home" on her "Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to Lena Horne" album. "However that tune was still too emotional for me to perform so I chose to only include "Believe in Yourself" and allowed that tune to carry me through my rebuilding efforts.
"During my days of wandering through the streets of my temporary home in Silver Spring, Maryland following hurricane Katrina, I would constantly sing both songs to myself. Vividly recalling how Glinda, the Good Witch of the South (Lena Horne), would sing to Dorothy (Diana Ross); "Believe that you can go home..." and Dorothy closing with the classic "Home."
How fitting is it that ten years later I finally have to strength to publicly sing "Home" and it is an added honor to do so at the request of our mayor."
Accompanied by Emmy-award winning arranger Mike Esneault on piano, the Stephanie Jordan Big Band will include members Marlon Jordan and Bobby Campo on trumpet, Clarence Johnson and Trevarri Huff-Boone on sax, BJ McGibney on trombone, Chris Severin on bass, Charlie Denard on keyboard, drummer Miles Labat, and Rachel Jordan, Amy Thiaville, and Danielle Ryce on violins; Jordan hopes to convey the spirit and steadfast faith of the people of New Orleans through her music.
Katrina 10 Commemoration: The Power of Community is open to all city residents, but seating is limited. Tickets are free and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis via email through Ticketmaster or via in-person pick up at City libraries and community-based organizations. Volunteers from the Katrina 10: City-Wide Day of Service will automatically receive tickets and access to exclusive seating. Tickets for the event via Ticketmaster can be accessed through the Katrina10.org website and volunteers can sign up for events with the Day of Service.
Stephanie Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, began to receive noted prominence following the national televised Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina. "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."
Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes magazine continues, "Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening. Her haunting rendition of 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 a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole . . ."
Jazz critic Ted Panken proclaims, "a voice that projects from a whisper to a scream, impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, fluid phrasing.... she finds fresh, unfailingly swinging approaches to this well-traveled repertoire, melding into a personal argot elements garnered from such distinguished mentors as Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Nancy Wilson-and Lena Horne herself-while sounding like no one other than Stephanie Jordan... Jordan's sodium pentothal treatment-the truth WILL be told-is evocative of the magical phrasing of Shirley Horn."
Recognized internationally, the Sud Ouest French publication calls her "unbelievably superb." The Washingtonian Magazine labeled her "JAZZHOT." Audix Microphones has dubbed her "Lady Jazz!"
Jordan has appeared live on NPR's Talk of the Nation and performed on stellar stages such as the inaugural International Jazz Day at Congo Square presented by UNESCO, the Kennedy Center, Jazz Standard, Club Dizzy's, Chicago's Harris Theater, Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, The Palace" Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, St. Croix Blue Bay Jazz Fest, The Setai - South Beach Miami, Manship Theatre, Takoma Station, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Duke Ellington Festival, Chicago JazzFest Heritage, Glenwood Springs, Co., Adagio's Jazz Club, Hayti Heritage Center, Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club, and is a regular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Jordan served as US Jazz Ambassadors' on a European Tour to Bucharest, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine on behalf of the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Jordan has been inducted as a member of the New Orleans Magazine's Jazz All-Stars.
Stephanie Jordan performed as the featured singer during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Gala which included the presence of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; a reception in honor of Vice President Joe Biden, she was selected to sing to Stevie Wonder during the National Urban League's national conference, and also performed at the private celebration 'Oprah Winfrey and Friends of Susan Taylor' in honor of Susan's years of service to Essence magazine.
Stephanie has shared billings with Norman Connors, NaJee, Roy Ayres, Wes Anderson, and Howard Hewitt. She has been featured performer with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, Chesapeake Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
Jordan 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. A graduate of Howard University, Stephanie is also a certified fitness instructor and creator of the exercise technique known as Jazz Pilates.
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