Jazz Winnipeg invites you to an exclusive online conversation with living legend Sheila Jordon. Zachary Rushing was on Morning Light with the details. 

Considered to be a living embodiment of the jazz tradition, the renowned vocalist Sheila Jordan joins Jazz Winnipeg’s Artistic Programs Director Zachary Rushing in conversation on Tuesday, June 22.

“Sheila Jordan may not be a household name in the way that someone like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan was,” says Rushing. “But to anyone who is a jazz aficionado, especially of vocal jazz, (Sheila Jordan) will be a name that is incredibly familiar.” 

Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1928, Sheila Jordan moved to New York City in the early 1950s and has since spent the last 60 plus years in the biz working with an array of critically acclaimed artists in addition to recording her own albums. 

“Beyond being an incredible vocalist in her own right — she is an incredible improviser and interpreter of melodies and of ballads — she is one of the living links in our jazz tradition that goes really right back as far as it can go,” explains Rushing. 

An early proponent of bebop and a pioneer of scat singing, Jordan was a close friend with jazz icons such as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. “Unfortunately, while none of them are still around to share with us what it was like to be creating music in that time… Sheila is! And she was there, and she did it, and to hear her perspective on that is just thrilling.” 

For Rushing, a jazz vocalist born in Portland, Oregon who now calls Winnipeg home, the opportunity to interview Jordan is one that has him “tickled”. 

“Sheila is sort of like a direct link in my jazz mentor family,” says Rushing who can trace his musical pedigree right back to the singer. “She’s at the top of my jazz family tree as it trickles down, and I had just never had a chance to meet her or learn more about her life in such an intimate way.” 

Join Zachary Rushing in conversation with Sheila Jordan Tuesday, June 22 beginning at 7PM. In addition to the conversation, participants can expect some video presentations as well as the opportunity for questions and answers from the great jazz vocalist and pioneer.