Project Contributors - Post 1960 Jazz Vocal Repertoire
Kris Adams began singing at an early age having grown up in a music loving family. Her grandfather played organ by ear and her mother played piano. Kris began singing on stage in a touring children’s theater as a young teenager and had her first professional gigs at the age of 19 in Connecticut, singing in a latin-jazz band that the late saxophonist Tom Chapin was a member of. Kris left Hartford to attend Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. She released her first CD, “This Thing Called Love” in 1999 and her second, “Weaver of Dreams” in 2002. Both were collaborations with pianist/arranger, Steve Prosser. She recorded her third disc, recently released (Jazzbird Records), "Longing" in collaboration with trumpeter/arranger, Greg Hopkins. Kris currently teaches at Berklee and is author of the book “Sing Your Way Through Theory” (Hal Leonard). Kris has shared the stage with Joe Lovano, Wayne Escoffery, Lee Musiker, Cameron Brown, Billy Drummond, Bill Pierce, Harvie S, Jay Leonhart and Michelle Hendricks. She has performed and given clinics in New England, New York, Los Angeles, Brazil, Germany and Italy, recently, at the Fara Sabina Jazz Festival along side Jonathan Kreisberg, Kevin Hays, Rueben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson.
For more than three decades, Mili Bermejo combined the emotionally resonant poetry and musical traditions of her Latin American heritage with the language of jazz to create a unique body of work as one of Boston’s premier vocalists, composers and recording artists. A member of the Berklee College of Music faculty from 1984 until her death in 2017, she also enjoyed a long career as an educator, passing on the lessons of life-long mentors Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake, Gary Chaffee, Mick Goodrick and Elisabeth Phinney to such next-generation artists as Chiara Civello, Lauren Kinhan (NY Voices), Alex Panayi, Sara Serpa, Luciana Souza, Esperanza Spaulding and Tierney Sutton. Born in Buenos Aires, Mili grew up in the socially and artistically progressive Mexico City of the 1970’s. In her youth, her prominent musician parents opened their home to all kinds of artists, writers and activists, laying the groundwork for her eclectic and inclusive musical vision, as well as her understanding of the social responsibility of the performer. After a childhood of playing music with her siblings, each becoming an acclaimed artist in his/her own right, she went on to study classical composition at the National School of Music (UNAM) before coming to Boston in 1980 to study jazz arranging and composition at Berklee, which invited her to join the faculty following her graduation. The first woman to receive the prestigious Achievement in Jazz Award from New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Mili also served as a panelist for the Cambridge Arts Council, Doris Duke Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), taught clinics around the world, and recorded a dozen releases as a leader/co-leader. Her final recording, Arte del Duo (Ediciones Pentagrama), celebrating her 35-year musical partnership with her husband, bassist Dan Greenspan, was released in October 2016.
Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. In 1963 she began her career performing the standards on the vibrant New York music scene. However, she quickly became a prominent part of the free jazz movement. Her work in these two worlds led to the development of a highly personal, wordless vocabulary later enhanced by her innovative use of electronics.
Cole, Paula, 1968-
Paula Cole (born April 5, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Her single "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997, and the following year she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Her song "I Don't Want to Wait" was used as the theme song of the television show Dawson's Creek.
For many years he has written books and 45 will have been published by the end of 2019. More than half of these are crime fiction, the non-fiction books are mainly on cinema and jazz. Long ago there were a few television plays and more recently a stage play. For a number of years he worked with Colin Larkin on his Encyclopedia of Popular Music and the BTOE, contributing 5-6000 entries to these projects. His first Jazz Journal article was in the mid-1970s, record reviews beginning a decade later. His jazz books include a biography of Gene Krupa and three books in collaboration with Mike Pinfold: The Jazz Singers, The Big Band Years and Singing Jazz. Other than jazz, he enjoys the blues, opera, old country, gospel, R&B, and popular songs of the 1930s and 40s.
Leala Cyr is fast becoming one of the most sought-after jazz vocalists of her generation. With a unique and deft ability for stunning vocal improvisation as well as being a trumpet player with a warm, golden tone, she is a rare “double threat.” Growing up in the small town of Pulaski, Wisconsin, Cyr was lucky to have been introduced to a wonderful school music program. Beginning her concentration on the trumpet, Leala quickly advanced and began to take music more seriously. Upon entering the jazz band in her high school, Cyr also became the band’s vocalist and eventually was featured as a trumpet and vocal soloist at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Leala then moved on to the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay where she studied music and began her professional career singing and playing in the local 'Salute to Sinatra' big band. After two years of study, Cyr was voted "Best Jazz Vocalist" in the college division by Down Beat Magazine's student music awards in 2005. Soon after, Leala was granted the World Tour Scholarship for the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Upon moving to the East Coast, Leala began performing professionally in the area and was also featured twice in Berklee’s renowned 'Singer’s Showcase.' Now as an alumnus of Berklee, she is performing professionally across the globe. Cyr’s projects include being a member of Grammy-winning "Best New Artist", Esperanza Spalding's "Radio and Chamber Music Societies'" (where she has appeared on The Late Show, The Tonight Show, The View, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Austin City Limits, and more), as a member of Jody Redhage's "Rose and the Nightingale," and the release of an album with Milton Nascimento, Ricardo Vogt and Pedro Bernardo. Leala has also shared the stage with Milton Nascimento, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ivan Lins, Jamey Haddad, Jeff "Tain" Watts, James Genus, Paul Winter, Guinga, Tia Fuller, Darmon Meader, Greg Hopkins, John Lockwood, Mark Walker, Chuck Loeb, Peabo Bryson, Oleta Adams, John Secada, Nando Michelin, and Byron Stripling.
Although underexposed most of his life, Bob Dorough was an adventurous, risk-taking master of vocalese (the process of writing and singing lyrics to instrumental jazz solos) and scat singing who directly or indirectly influenced Mark Murphy, Michael Franks, Mose Allison, and Kurt Elling. The Arkansas native started out on piano in the 1940s, then took up singing in the early '50s (when he played for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, an entertainer at the time). From 1954-1955, Dorough lived in Paris, where he recorded with singer Blossom Dearie. The improviser launched his own recording career when he signed with Bethlehem in 1955 and recorded the excellent Devil May Care, which introduced the defiant title song and lyrics to Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite." But sadly, he recorded only sporadically after that. In 1962, Dorough co-wrote "Comin' Home Baby" (a hit for Mel Tormé) with Ben Tucker, and in 1966 he recorded his second album, Just About Everything, for Focus. In the early '70s, he began writing and directing Schoolhouse Rock!, the series of educational children's TV programs. Though instructional material became his bread and butter, Dorough recorded obscure jazz dates for 52 Rue East, Orange Blue, Pinnacle, Bloomdido, Laissez-Faire, and other tiny labels in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1997, a 73-year-old Dorough received some long-overdue attention from a major label when the Capitol-distributed Blue Note released Right on My Way Home. Too Much Coffee Man followed in the spring of 2000. His Sunday brunch residency at New York's Iridium club culminated in 2004's live offering Sunday at Iridium and, at a sprightly 82 years of age, Dorough traveled to England for a series of live dates. The tour culminated in a recording session that spawned the charming Small Day Tomorrow album in 2006. Dorough was still performing and recording into his nineties, with the Enja label releasing the Bob Dorough Trio album But for Now in 2015. He died at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania in April 2018 at the age of 94
The daughter of an American Air Force officer and a Swiss mother, Eade grew up in a musical household and spent much of her childhood moving within the US and in Europe. She studied piano as a child and decided she was going to be a singer in the second grade. Eade picked up guitar as a young teenager, learning folk, pop and jazz songs and writing some of her own. She played her first gigs in the coffee houses of Stuttgart while in high school there. Later, as an English major at Vassar, Eade sang for a time with a jazz group, Naima, which also included Poughkeepsie native Joe McPhee. Eade transferred briefly to Berklee College of Music, and then finished her degree at New England Conservatory, where pianist Ran Blake became an important mentor and performing colleague. Eade stayed in Boston after graduating and soon after began teaching at NEC. She was an active performer on the vibrant Boston jazz scene in the 80's, forming groups with Boston-based artists including Mick Goodrick, Donald Brown and Bill Pierce. She also traveled in the United States and Europe as a clinician and performer. In addition to her own groups, Eade also performed contemporary classical music and was a featured soloist with Boston Musica Viva, Composers in Red Sneakers, NuClassix and jazz big bands Orange Then Blue and the Either/Orchestra. In 1987 she became the first jazz artist to be accepted into the NEC Artist Diploma program, where she studied for two years with Dave Holland and Stanley Cowell. In 1990, Eade moved to New York City and released her first CD, The Ruby and the Pearl, featuring Alan Dawson and Stanley Cowell, for Accurate Records. During this time she maintained her teaching position at NEC, and performed in a variety of contexts including soloist roles in two Anthony Braxton operas, duo restaurant performances with Gene Bertoncini, an adventurous trio with Ben Street and Kenny Wollesen performing weekly in the East Village, and duos with Mark Helias and Peter Leitch. She played at The Village Gate, The Five Spot, Birdland, Visiones, and Cornelia Street Caf� with groups including Larry Goldings, John Medeski, Fred Hersch, Kevin Hays, James Genus, Gregory Hutchinson, and Tom Rainey. She recorded her second CD, My Resistance is Low (Accurate), featuring fellow Brooklyn resident and frequent collaborator Bruce Barth, George Mraz, and Lewis Nash. Just prior to returning to Boston in 1996 to begin a family, Eade was contacted by RCA's Steve Backer and signed with the label later that year. She recorded two critically acclaimed CDs for RCA Victor, When the Wind Was Cool featuring Benny Golson, Fred Hersch, James Genus, Matt Wilson, and many others, and The Long Way Home with Dave Holland and Victor Lewis, which highlighted Eade's arranging and songwriting. Though in the midst of raising two small children, Eade toured in the United States and Europe to support the two RCA recordings. For the next couple of years, she mostly kept her efforts closer to home, focusing on composing and local Boston performances. In 2001, at the request of Columbia Records, Eade recorded a demo of her newer songs. Later, Eade began to record more original material with pianist Jed Wilson whom she met while he was a student at NEC. Eade and Wilson released a CD of duets, Open, in the fall of 2006. Eade also began to reemerge in New York, first with Ran Blake, then in duos and quartets with Jed Wilson, Ben Street, Matt Wilson, and in duo with guitarist Brad Shepik, all receiving critical recognition. Eade currently lives near Boston with her husband, saxophonist Allan Chase, and their two sons. She has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory since 1984 and also teaches privately in New York. Her students have included Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Sara Lazarus, Lisa Thorson, Julie Hardy, Patrice Williamson, Kris Adams, David Devoe, Aoife O'Donovan, Roberta Gambarini, and many others.
Peter Eldridge ranks “in the celebrated tradition of melodic poets, most famously represented by such disparate voices as Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Steely Dan – singer/songwriters who create catchy, beautiful tunes with insightful lyrics that are both personal and universal” (allmusicguide.com). For years Peter Eldridge has remained at the forefront of both the singer-songwriter and jazz realms as a vocalist, pianist, composer, and arranger. He has four critically acclaimed albums: Stranger in Town, Fool No More, Decorum, and Mad Heaven. His latest studio project, Disappearing Day, was released in July 2016 on Sunnyside Records and called “an out and out masterpiece” by allaboutjazz. Disappearing Day made many ‘best of the year’ lists, including Downbeat, Jazziz, and NPR. Some of Peter’s current projects include his first full-fledged musical with the working title of ‘The Kiss’, co-written with Chicago playwright Cheryl Coons about the life, loves, and art of Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt; an upcoming recording of ballads with string orchestra and jazz trio, featuring pianist/arranger Kenny Werner and cellist Eugene Friesen, and Foolish Hearts, an acoustic duo featuring Peter and bassist Matt Aronoff. Eldridge is also a founding member of internationally acclaimed vocal group, New York Voices. The group continues to tour internationally and has performed in some of the world’s most preeminent venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and has been involved in two Grammy-award winning projects with Paquito D’Rivera and the Count Basie Orchestra. New York Voices has completed two new collaborative albums to be released in 2018, one with the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the other with Brazilian singer/songwriter Ivan Lins and the Danish Radio Big Band. On the more contemporary side, Peter is also a member of the vocal group MOSS, alongside Kate McGarry, Theo Bleckmann, Lauren Kinhan and Luciana Souza (and now vocalist Jo Lawry). Some of Peter’s notable collaborations include Bobby McFerrin, Fred Hersch, Becca Stevens, Chanticleer, George Benson, Michael Brecker, David Byrne, Jonatha Brooke, Kurt Elling, the New West Guitar Trio, Jane Monheit, the Swingles, Anat Cohen, Betty Buckley, Janis Siegel, Paula Cole, Jon Hendricks, and Mark Murphy. Peter’s music is featured in Zach Galifianakis’ recorded performance ‘Live at the Purple Onion’, and his original songs or collaborations have been covered by artists such as Nancy Wilson, Paquito D’Rivera, and Jane Monheit. This past Spring, Peter was commissioned by the Boston choral group Coro Allegro to write a piece for its 25th anniversary (‘to be nobody’, text by e e cummings). In addition, Peter was head of the Manhattan School of Music’s jazz voice department for eighteen years and is now part of the voice faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is regularly in demand for workshops and masterclasses both domestically and internationally, in topics ranging from vocal technique and song interpretation to songwriting and arranging.
Marcelle is an Associate Professor in the Voice department. She is Head of the Jazz Voice studio at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and teaches at Shenandoah University’s Contemporary Commercial Music Institute. Recordings include Faces of Love and The Edge of the Pond.