Sheila Jordan

Sheila Jordan, born Sheila Jeanette Dawson on November 18, 1928 in Detroit (Michigan), is an American Jazz singer/songwriter. Sheila Jordan was born in Summerhill, Pennsylvania and returned to her hometown in 1940/41 to play the piano and sing semi-professionally at Detroit clubs. Sheila Jordan was an influence on Charlie Parker. She was part of the trio Skeeter Mitch and Jean (she was Jean), who wrote lyrics to Parker’s arrangements. She moved to New York in 1951 and began studying harmony and music theory with Charles Mingus and Lennie Tristano. She was married to Duke Jordan, the Parker’s piano player. (SteepleChase). In the 1960’s, she was performing at the Page Three Club in Greenage Village. She also worked in various bars and clubs in New York. George Russell (Blue Note), who recorded the song “You Are My Sunshine”, with her, in 1962, was her discovery. Later in 1962, she recorded Portrait of Sheila (recorded September 19th and Oct 12th, 1962), which was later sold to Blue Note. She sang jazz liturgies at various churches, including Princeton and Cornell in New York City later in the decade. Don Heckman (1967-68), Lee Konitz ( 1972), Roswell Rudd (72-75), and Jordan began a long-lasting working relationship with Steve Kuhn at this time. She was an “Artist in Residence” at City College in 1974 and was there teaching in 1975. She recorded “Confirmation” on the 12th July 1975. Sheila recorded “Confirmation” one year later. She founded a quartet in 1979 with Bob Moses, Harvie Swartz, and Kuhn. She was a member of Harvie Swartz’s duo in the 1980’s and recorded several records with him. She worked as an advertising agent until 1987, and she recorded Lost and Found in 1989. Sheila Jordan can also be a songwriter, and she is able work in both free and bebob jazz. Sheila Jordan has also recorded with Harvie Swartz (MA Recordings), Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and the George Gruntz Concert jazz band (TCB, ECM), Harvie Swrtz (TCB), ECM), Harvie Gruntz (TCB), Harvie Swartz (MA Recordings)). Blue Note also has Blue Note recordings she led for SteepleChase and Palo Alto Blackhawk, Eastwind and SteepleChase. User-contributed text may also be available under Creative Commons By–SA License.

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