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Marlena Shaw

About this Artist

MARLENA SHAW excels at several musical styles and has made a name for herself in jazz, pop, soul, blues, R&B, and even disco. She was attracted to jazz through an uncle who introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. The great Ellington singer, Al Hibbler, was a major influence on her vocal style. As a performer, Shaw began at the top - appearing at age ten at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater. In addition to touring with the Count Basie Orchestra and Sammy Davis, Jr., Shaw has had a distinguished recording career, beginning with several hits for Cadet in the 1960s. In 1972 she became the first female singer to be signed by Blue Note Records, and later scored critical successes on Columbia and Verve. No matter what the musical style, Shaw's charisma and ability to communicate never fail to win over audiences worldwide. She was a favorite of Benny Carter, touring Japan with him in 1989 and 1995. She turned in two gripping performances on Carter's ambitious 1995 Songbook recording project (MusicMasters). In 1996 Carter chose her (along with Joe Williams) to premiere his extended work, Peaceful Warrior (dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), commissioned by the Library of Congress.