Marion Cowings Performs Jazz Gig in Brooklyn Tonight
Legendary jazz singer Marion Cowings, whose smooth baritone voice and considerable range has been delighting audiences all over the world for decades, will be performing the next two Friday nights at clubs in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Tonight, June 21, from 8 PM to midnight, Marion will be performing at Brownstone Jazz aka Sankofa Aban Bed and Breakfast, an histoRic Brownstone at 107 Macon Street near Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Admission is $30 and includes a fish fry. For information and reservations, call 917-704-9237. The following Friday, June 28, Marion will be headlining at Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W. 10th Street in the West Village from 7:30 to 10 PM. There is a $ 20 admission charge. For information and reservations, call 212-252-5091 or visit smallsjazzclub.com.
Mentored by Jon Hendricks, Marion, a master of scat and vocal technique, has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Blue Note, Village Vanguard as well as at many prestigious venues abroad. Born and raised in the South Bronx, he attended the High School of Music and Art where, as a 15 year old, he was chosen to perform as a solo vocalist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. It was then that Marion discovered the bebop group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. When Jon Hendricks heard that this teenage vocalist was singing his music, he arranged to meet Marion and soon set him up with his first professional engagement at the Randall's Island Jazz Festival with Little Pony Poindexter and the Ike Isaacs Trio. Marion also began to understudy with Lambert Hendricks and Ross and eventually became Dave Lambert's original replacement.
In 1984, he teamed up with jazz vocalist Kim Kalesti and as Kalesti and Cowings headlined the Berlin Jazz Festival and the Blue Notes in New York and Japan. They starred in Lincoln Center's Meet The Artists series, and performed hundreds of concerts in New York City's public schools. In addition to recording two albums, they performed with many musicians, including Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson, Ron Carter, Howard Johnson and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra (now known as Village Vanguard Orchestra). Together they founded the Vocal Jazz Department at New York University where they were adjunct professors for 11 years.
He has performed Off Broadway in Forever Swing and Bebop, was a lead in Queenie Pie, a Duke Ellington Opera directed by Mercer Ellington at Lincoln Center, and headlined the Harry Warren Lyrics and Lyricists program at the 92nd Street Y alongside Margaret Whiting and Mary Cleere Haran. He was also a lead in the 100th anniversary tributes to Count Basie and Glenn Miller at the Lucille Lortel Theater, both directed by Mercedes Ellington, Duke's granddaughter who is founder and President of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts. Marion is also a respected vocal coach and teacher.