Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Sheila Jordan To Receive The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation's 2018 Satchmo Award


Sheila Jordan To Receive The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation's 2018 Satchmo Award

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation proudly presents the 8th SATCHMO Award to: jazz vocalist and songwriter Ms. Sheila Jordan. LAEF is returning to the historic Alhambra Ball Room in Harlem, where swing dancers, big bands and jazz vocalists once reigned supreme - Friday October 12th 8:00 - 10:00pm.

Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation President, Stanley Crouch stated that the Satchmo Award represents a tribute to the life and legacy of LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S passion for jazz and excellence matched only by his joyous love of life, children and his commitment to sharing his music with the world!

"The recipients of The Satchmo Award are selected for their important and lasting contributions in the world of music and jazz education. They reflect the spirit of Louis Armstrong and his inspiring belief in the power of the language of music, essential to making a wonderful world. Ms. Jordan exemplifies all that this prestigious award stands for!"

David Chevan, Chair of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation's Satchmo Award Committee. The presentation of the Award at the Alhambra Ballroom, located at 2116 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. (at West 126rh Street) will take place on October 12th 8:00-10:00 pm. The celebration will close with a Swing Dance Party! Performers include the Queens College Jazz Orchestra featuring Antonio Hart under the direction of Michael Mossman with a special performance by the evening's Awardee, Sheila Jordan who will then join the ranks of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday: great vocalists that performed at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem!

The SATCHMO Award is a free public event and will be SOLD OUT!

The Louis Armstrong. Educational Foundation, Inc. was founded and funded by Louis Armstrong in 1969 to give back to the world "some of the goodness he received."

The Foundation is dedicated to perpetuating the legacies of Louis and Lucille Armstrong throughout the world to include fostering jazz music programs, performance training, workshops and lectures on the history of jazz.

LAEF is a living legacy to "Satchmo" Louis Armstrong, the most important creative force in the early development and perpetuation of America's music, Jazz. His influence, as an artist and cultural icon, is universal, unmatched, and very much alive today.

The organization is managed by a 16 member Board of Trustees, Stanley Crouch is the Board President.

Louis Armstrong was born in the Storyville district of New Orleans on August 4, 1901 -he settled in Corona Queens (New York) with his 3rd wife, Lucille. Through the years, Louis travelled the world as America's "Jazz Ambassador," entertaining millions, from heads of state and royalty to the kids on his stoop in Corona. Despite his fame, he remained a humble man and lived a simple life in a working-class neighborhood. To this day, everyone loves Louis Armstrong-just the mention of his name makes people smile!

Sheila Jordan NEA Jazz Master (2012), Sheila Jordan (b. Sheila Jeanette Dawson, November 18 1928) is a jazz singer/songwriter who pioneered a bebop and scat singing style using a bassist as her only accompanist. Considered a "musician's singer" her ability to improvise lyrics has garnered Jordan international acclaim. Scott Yanow described her as "one of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers...a superb scat singer..." Hired as Artist in Residence at City College of New York, in 1974, she became an Adjunct Professor from 1978-2005. Currently on the faculty of Vermont Jazz Center summer workshop and Interplay Jazz & Arts in Woodstock, VT and "Jazz in July" summer music program at UMASS Amherst, at age 79 Jordan maintains an extensive travel schedule performing and conducting clinics.

In May 2017, she received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from The University of Mass, and The Jazz Legends Distinguished Achievement Award from The UMass Fine Arts Center's Valley Jazz Network. Other awards include the Lil Hardin Armstrong Jazz Heritage Award (2004), the Barry Harris Award for True Jazz Mastery (2003), Harvard University Visiting Artist Award (1998), State of Michigan Society for the Culturally Concerned Award (1995), a nine-time recipient of the Downbeat Magazine Critics Award, talent deserving of wider recognition (1962-1975) and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. Also in 2012 she received the Jazz Education Network Award for Outstanding Performance.

Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, she returned to her birthplace of Detroit, Michigan, in 1940. Still in her teens, it was in the city's jazz clubs where she worked semi-professionally singing and playing the piano. Jordan learned well from fellow "Detroiters"; Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Kenny Burrell but her first great influence was Charlie Parker.

As a member of the vocal trio, Skeeter, Mitch and Jean (she was Jean), she sang versions of Parker's solos. When in Detroit, Parker would invite them to sing and introduced her as "the singer with the millions dollar ears." In 1951 Jordan moved to New York City where she studied harmony and music theory with pianist Lennie Tristano and famed bassist, Charles Mingus but her focus was on the music of Charlie Parker who she credits as both teacher and friend until his passing in 1955.

Throughout the early 1960's Jordan performed in all of the major clubs, recorded the song, "You Are My Sunshine" with George Russell on his groundbreaking Riverside recording, The Outer View and landed a record deal with Blue Note Records that produced, Portrait of Sheila. During those years she began a fruitful working relationship with pianist, Steve Kuhn, that remains today. Other luminaries with whom she worked and/or recorded are Lee Konitz, Roswell Rudd, Don Heckman, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow. Of the fifty-five albums that feature Jordan, twenty-one are hers as a leader. Her biography Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan was released in September 2014.

"The Queens College Jazz Orchestra" is curated by The Jazz Ensemble Program at Queens College. This competitive program offers students hands on experience working with jazz groups under the tutelage of experienced professional jazz artists. The Queens College jazz faculty includes: David Berkman (Piano), Antonio Hart (Sax), Michael Mossman (Trumpet), Dennis Mackrel (Drums), Aubrey Johnson (Vocal), Charenee Wade (Vocal), Tim Armacost (Sax) and Paul Bollenback (Guitar).

Ensemble program at Queens College covers a broad range of topics from Latin music, original compositions, and the music of a particular jazz composer such as Dizzy Gillespie or Bud Powell, big band, odd and mixed meter, vocal performance and choir.

The Harlem Alhambra was a vaudeville house built in 1905, that eventually became a movie venue and, in 1929, opened a famed upstairs ballroom that hosted swing bands, vocalists and dancers; the legendary Lindy Hopper, Frankie Manning got his start here before moving to the Savoy Ballroom! Today the Alhambra Ballroom hosts events from weddings, to big band and swing dance competitions; and is also home to the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation's Satchmo Awards. And on October 12th Sheila Jordan will join the ranks of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday: great vocalists that performed at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem!

Related Articles View More Music Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You