The Divine One: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn
About Bam Series:
Every Month, Hayti pays tribute to the masters of Jazz and the legacy they left behind. It is important to hold a high standard for our music and preserve its power to future generations in our community, as everything still to follow has come from the birth of Black American Music. #BAM #HAYTI
About Sarah Vaughn:
Sarah Vaughan, in full Sarah Lois Vaughan, byname Sassy or the Divine One, (born March 27, 1924, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.—died April 3, 1990, Hidden Hills, California), American jazz vocalist and pianist known for her rich voice, with an unusually wide range, and for the inventiveness and virtuosity of her improvisations.
Vaughan was the daughter of amateur musicians. She began studying piano and organ at age seven and sang in the church choir. After winning an amateur contest at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater in 1942, she was hired as a singer and second pianist by the Earl Hines Orchestra. A year later she joined the singer Billy Eckstine’s band, where she met Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Vaughan’s singing style was influenced by their instruments—“I always wanted to imitate the horns.” Gillespie, Parker, and Vaughan recorded “Lover Man” together in 1945.
By the mid-1940s Vaughan began singing with John Kirby and appearing on television variety shows. During the 1950s her audience grew as she toured both the United States and Europe, and she signed with Mercury Record Corporation and EmArcy, Mercury’s jazz label, in 1953 to sing both pop and jazz. She also appeared in three movies in that period—Jazz Festival (1956), Disc Jockey (1951), and Basin Street Revue (1956).
A contralto with a range of three octaves, she came to be regarded as one of the greatest of all jazz singers. Among her best-known songs were “It’s Magic,” “Make Yourself Comfortable,” “Broken-Hearted Melody,” “Misty,” and “Send in the Clowns.” Vaughan died in 1990, the same year in which she was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.
About Kenya Templeton:
Vocal stylist Kenya Templeton brings to the stage a highly soul revealing, conversational and interactive experience slipping effortlessly among musical styles and influences while retaining her own distinct style. She utilizes body percussion, scatting, and singing to create her limitless style. If Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, and Rachelle Farrell had a niece, she would probably sing like Kenya Templeton. Over recent years Kenya has graced small and large stages. She has presented her musical celebration concert and seminar, Jazz Vocal History, at the Long Live Arts Festival at the Levine Center for the Arts and Gantt After Dark at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture. As the vocalist for Mo’ Betta, a modern cabaret of jazz, stand-up comedy and improv poetry, Kenya sang jazz standards to the delight of the Boom Fringe Festival attendees. Creative Loafing raved, “Templeton floated beyond strict 4/4 time, sounding more like Betty Carter in an exemplary rendition of Afro Blue.” She has been a regular performer for Dapper Street Productions’ Color of Jazz concert series, sponsored by Arts and Science Council’s Culture Blocks, including a tribute concert to Al Jarreau. Kenya has been an ensemble actor and principal singer with OnQ Performing Arts, for the past seven years at Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square in Charlotte, NC. She is most recognized for filling the stage of McGlohon Theatre each December with OnQ’s Soulful Noel presenting her jazz, soulful house, classical and blues renditions of classic Christmas tunes. On New York Times’ Facebook Live for over a quarter-million viewers presenting an abbreviated version of Soulful Noel with OnQ in 2016, Kenya sang, including a solo on the title track. Kenya’s most notable stage performance is as “Calli of the Valley” in the stage-adapted version of Russell Goin’s epic griot poem, The Children of Children Keep Coming, in which she covers field songs and negro spirituals to the music of Marian Anderson and Sarah Vaughan. “Kenya Templeton was even more impressive in the more central role of Calli of the Valley, and she sang purely and sweetly as Marian Anderson. Most memorable was how Templeton’s scat singing Ella-vated the bebop segment and made it a celebratory highlight,” according to Classical Voice of North Carolina. On the recording of OnQ Presents a Soulful Noel, Kenya performs a solo on the title track, lead vocal on an ensemble track and a downhome blues rendition of Good Morning Blues. She recorded with world renown DJ and music producer Stan Courtois of Chopsa Records (France) her first songwriting publishing credit, Spicy Disco (Gotta Keep On), which was one of the standout soulful house hits that year and remixed by numerous music producers. Currently Kenya is developing a curriculum for teaching youth jazz appreciation through its connection to hip hop. She is also finishing her play, Jazz: A Sound Protest, which reviews how jazz music has been a vital part of protests around the world. Early 2021 Kenya will release her first solo recording, an a Capello vocal EP. www.reverbnation.com/KenyaTempletonwww.indieonthemove.com/users/Kenya Templeton YouTube: Kenya Templeton Performs Instagram: @KenyaTempletonPerforms Facebook: www.facebook.com/ktperforms Email: KenyaTempletonPerforms@gmail.com