It is as a showcase for voice that jazz is at its most divine. For a singer, the essential elements that define jazz stylistically; improvisation, phrasing, swing rhythms coupled with the addition of scat, are a vital recipe for music that is complex, challenging and deeply satisfying. When you combine several voices at once, the reward is that much greater.
Elevation Vocal Jazz dramatis personae:
Anne Bransford: Singer/songwriter and pop vocalist, Anne Ruth Bransford has performed in over 20 states, Canada and Mexico. She studied opera for two years before moving to Santa Fe, where she received her BFA in Contemporary Music at the College of Santa Fe. Anne made her musical debut in college performing such roles as Margarita in “Faust” and Susanna in “The Marriage of Figaro.” After college, Anne worked at a PolyGram owned record label for 2 years then at a commercial recording facility; where she sang on over a dozen local album projects and wrote and recorded some of her own music. She is also a certified Music Together® teacher for Fam Jam!
Paula Eastwood has performed in jazz fusion and jazz bands in Chicago and New York, and now enjoys singing “at will,” in Santa Fe. In Chicago, Paula sang with Marshall Vente’s Project 9 jazz band, Chevere latin band, and That fusion band. Her New York years included clubs gigs, session work, leading two originals bands, and jazz piano studies with Garry Dial. In Santa Fe, Paula has performed with the Santa Fe Little Big Band, Straight Up Trio, and at GiG Performance Space with Bruce Dunlap and with her jazz/originals trio. She has recorded locally with Robert Sequoia, Russell Walden, and has done voiceover work for the Santa Fe Jazz Festival, KBLU and KSFR.
Greg Grissom attended the Interlaken Arts Academy, the University of Texas and Baylor University. He began his professional career as musical director for the Country Dinner Playhouse in Austin, Texas working with many legendary performers arranging and assisting in productions of America's greatest Broadway musical hits including: The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie Get Your Gun and many more. He gave his operatic debut in Phillip Haggeman's The Music Cure for the Santa Fe Concert Association and performed for the Santa Fe Opera's winter educational program for three years. Greg received national recognition as Santa Fe’ best singing Phantom in "Fodor's Travel Guide" and "Frommer's Travel."
Jack Manno is a professional musician with a 40 year career as a singer, arranger, composer, teacher and jazz pianist. His years working in New York City (1962-1974) included radio, TV, studio, stage, and concert work. His arrangements are found on Blue Note Records with Duke Pearson and Monmouth-Evergreen Records. He has arranged music for Dan Fogelberg, Eddie Daniels and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale.He is the founder/director of the Southwest Jazz Orchestra, a non-profit that includes performance and youth education. Jack has an extensive catalog of vocal arrangements, and provides most of the charts for Elevation.
Lois Manno has been singing in various genres all her life. She loves the tight harmonies and collaborative spirit that makes Elevation Vocal Jazz such a special group. After meeting in the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s adult jazz chorus in 2004, Lois and her husband Jack had a jazz quintet called Simpatico in Albuquerque. Lois was a founding board member of the Southwest Jazz Orchestra, and has on occasion sung with the band. Lois and Jack continue to enjoy a close musical relationship in Elevation, singing soprano and bass, respectively.
Campbell Martin has appeared in numerous musicals from chorus boy to principle roles in New York City, National Tours and Regional Theatre. (Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Goodspeed Opera House, The Guthrie, Burt Reynolds’s Theatre). Campbell was honored with a MAC Award (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) and a Bistro Award (Backstage Magazine) for his performances in cabaret with the critically acclaimed jazz vocal trio, WISEGUYS. As a WISEGUY he appeared in every major room from The Oak Room at the Algonquin to the Cinegrill in Los Angeles as well as performing in concert with Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, Chita Rivera, Rosemary Clooney, and Michael Feinstein and has sung backup for jazz great Diane Shuur. As an adjunct professor at the College of Santa Fe in the Performing Arts Department, he taught Musical Theatre Dance, Tap, Pilates and has directed/choreographed student productions.
David River, tenor, has sung with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Boston’s Cantata Singers, Minneapolis’ Plymouth Music Series and traveled the world with the St. Olaf Choir in college. A New Mexico native, David is happy to be living in the only place he ever called home. When not singing, David has a family mediation practice where, in human relationships, he attempts to turn cacophony into melody.
Southwest Jazz Orchestra
The Southwest Jazz Orchestra was established in 2004 by composer/arranger/vocalist/pianist Jack Manno and composer/arranger/bassist Lenny Tischler with the intent of keeping jazz alive in the region through performances of original arrangements of jazz classics plus new compositions from within the orchestra. The ten-member band was formed from the best professional musicians and composers in northern New Mexico and supported by a volunteer Board of Directors. Non-profit status was granted in early 2005. Today, the orchestra concentrates on fund-raising events for organizations like KSFR-FM Public Radio and the Contemporary Music Program at the College of Santa Fe.
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