JEANNE O'CONNOR is a jazz vocalist who has delved deep into the heart of the Great American Songbook with swing, subtlety, and deep musicality. She has also brought her clear, expressive alto voice to Brazilian music, pop, and R and B. She has performed as a soloist with jazz combos and big bands throughout the New York City region and beyond. A versatile vocalist, she is also a member of the celebrated String of Pearls female vocal trio, and the soulful and swinging Lanham and O'Connor vocal duo.
Says Michael Bourne, WBGO-FM DJ and host of "Singers Unlimited," "Jeanne O'Connor knows all the songs, sings them beautifully - and she really swings." According to The New York Times, Jeanne "can belt out the innuendoes in Helen Humes's song "Million Dollar Secret" or the shouting joy in Louis Jordan's "Let the Good Times Roll" and can also sustain a ballad such as "Star Dust," without losing the sense or mood of the song." And of Jeanne's 2007 release, "Something's Coming," the Albany Times-Union raves, "Exquisite solo debut?With a buttery alto voice and nimble, graceful phrasing, O'Connor impressively weaves her way through the CD, tackling show tunes, smart pop songs and blues as well as time-honored jazz standards."
Jeanne has brought her singing to clubs, cabarets, concert halls, and music festivals. She has appeared at New York's Blue Note, Elaine's, J's, the Rainbow Room, the Cat Club, Condon's and many other jazz clubs. She starred in the Irving Berlin tribute at Michael's Pub. She created "Jeanne O'Connor Sings Gershwin" as part of the Rockefeller Center City Celebration.
Jeanne sings with some of the country's leading swing and jazz bands, including frequent appearances with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. She also sings with Barry Bryson's Swing Street, the Widespread Depression Jazz Orchestra, the Hot Club of France, and Peter Duchin Orchestras. Jeanne was recently a featured vocalist on opening night of "Midsummer Night's Swing" at Lincoln Center, sharing the stage with Nicholas Payton.
She also recently did a six-week run at the Guggenheim Museum as part of its "Worldbeat Jazz" series, and appeared as a soloist at the festivities surrounding the World Economic Forum in New York City. She also works doing backup vocals, studio work, and private functions, and fundraisers. Jeanne was a featured vocalist with New York Philomusica in several jazz/classical concerts featuring George Mraz, Gene Bertoncini and Frank Wess. She sang for several seasons with the New Amsterdam Singers in New York City.
In the NY Capital region, she has appeared at the famous Caffe Lena coffeehouse in Saratoga Springs, Justin's Jazz Club in Albany, Saratoga's Circus Café,the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, and in live performance on WAMC Northeast Public radio.
Jeanne studied piano and sang in pop and folk bands as a youth, but went on to study liberal arts at Brown University. There, she began singing in nightclubs with jazz and swing bands. She moved her singing career to New York in the 1980s. In 1992, she married the brilliant pianist, composer, and producer Don Grolnick www.dongrolnick.com. Don succumbed to lymphatic cancer in 1996, a loss that resounded throughout the music world. Jeanne has since remarried, to physicist David Atkatz, who teaches at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. In 2003 Jeanne gave birth to their beautiful son, Daniel Atkatz. Jeanne divides her time between New York, Saratoga, and wherever her music takes her.
Jeanne's solo CD, "Something's Coming," was released on the Perldisc label in May 2007. (See "music" page on this site for sound clips and purchase information!) It features stellar playing by the likes of Lee Musiker, Todd Coolman, and Dave Ratacjzack, and brilliant arrangements by Musiker, Gil Goldstein, and the late Don Grolnick.