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Jackie Ryan

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Biography of Jackie Ryan

"One of the best singers to sing at Ronnie's since Shirley Horn."John Massarik, The Evening Standard
London, May 2001

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jackie Ryan's Mexican, Irish and French heritage (as well as her affinity for singing in several languages) has added to her worldly appeal and brought her increasing international acclaim.

Jackie has toured and appeared throughout the U.S., Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and London - where she has performed the last three years at the internationally-renowned Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. The club's owner, Pete King, was so impressed the first year, writes Derek Everett in his liner notes, that he asked Jackie to return and record a live CD for Ronnie Scott's Jazz House label (released in the U.K. May, 2001) and entitled "Whisper Not" (JHCD 066).

Influenced by the soulful Spanish songs that her mother sang and the classically-trained baritone voice of her father, Jackie began singing as a small child and started her professional career at the age of 15 touring and working with local bands.


In her early 20's, Ms. Ryan met vocalese innovator Eddie Jefferson (and sat in with him and Richie Cole) - a meeting she credits as transformational for her both as a singer and lyricist. Since then, she has written and recorded not only vocalese lyrics to such be-bop improvisations as Joe Henderson's "The Kicker," but also lyrics to ballads such as Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes and Barry Harris' "Deep Love" among others.

Among the many musicians Jackie has sung or toured with are Clark Terry with Swing Fever at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jon Hendricks, Terry Gibbs, Buddy De Franco, George Gaffney, and Sergio Mendez's original rhythm section (Octavio Bailey on bass, Claudio Sloan on drums) with whom she, together with pianist Liz Kinnon, performed a two week all Brazilian show in Los Angeles, singing the entire show of samba and bossa nova in Portuguese.

Her first release "For Heaven's Sake" (Blueport BP-J004) recorded live with The Mike Wofford Trio, has received overwhelming praise (see CD reviews) and made the Top 40 National Gavin Jazz Chart. Critic John Adams cited it as: "One of the most pleasant and intelligently conceived releases of tunes in sometime . . . marking a return to lyricism, grace and melodic beauty in jazz."

Ms. Ryan currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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