[JPL] Nancy Wilson lends her voice and gowns to Jazz Appreciation Month

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Thu Apr 21 21:59:05 EDT 2011

  Nancy Wilson lends her voice and gowns to Jazz Appreciation Month

      By Jacqueline Trescott, Thursday, April 21, 7:26 PM

For decades Nancy Wilson has been sending shivers through listeners with 
her interpretations of jazz and pop lyrics. The songs are classics, 
starting with "Guess Who I Saw Today," which she stamped with her 
signature storytelling in her first solo recording session in 1959.

On Friday night, Wilson is appearing at the Music Center at Strathmore 
<http://www.strathmore.org/>, an evening co-sponsored with Blues Alley, 
and after she finishes --- maybe "How Glad I Am" --- she will present 
two gowns to the Smithsonian. The formal gowns, one from her 
Grammy-winning night in 2007, will be displayed at Strathmore before the 

After the event, the donations will go to the National Museum of 
American History <http://americanhistory.si.edu/>, which houses the 
world's largest museum collection of jazz materials. This month the 
museum is celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, and who better than 
Wilson to be a part of the salute.

"I think of her as one of the most distinctive song stylists of our era. 
There is no one else who sounds like her," said John Edward Hasse, the 
museum's curator of American music. "She has great versatility, a 
remarkable range of intensity, clear respect for the lyrics and 
impeccable musicianship."

Wilson's own music appreciation began at home in Ohio listening to Billy 
Eckstine, Nat King Cole, LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown and Louis Armstrong. 
She began singing professionally at age 15. In 1959 she moved to New 
York and within six weeks had signed with Capitol Records. Her 1962 
with Cannonball Adderley is still considered a classic. During her time 
with Capitol, her sales were second only to the Beatles. She has the 
astonishing output of 70 albums.

Not only through her music has Wilson, now 74, added to the chronicles 
of jazz --- she was also the host of "Jazz Profiles" on National Public 
Radio for almost a decade and promoted jazz education through projects 
with the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh.

Lauded by other singers and her fans, Wilson has won three Grammys in 
the past four decades. She won for "How Glad I Am" in 1964; and best 
jazz vocal album for "R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) 
in 2005 and "Turned to Blue 
in 2007.


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