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Edmonds Jazz Connection star deserves careful attention


Last updated 5/20/2010 at Noon

“Jackie Ryan. Man, nothing like going first class. She's great, and her last album DOOZY was one of the top jazz CDs of 2009.”

The words are those of Dick McGarvin, a former Seattleite and longtime Los Angeles jazz musician.

He had just learned of the Edmonds Jazz Connection and the exciting things it is doing here.

Jackie Ryan will be appearing at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, Saturday evening, May 29, headlining the gala evening wrap-up concert of this year’s 10th anniversary Edmonds Jazz Connection.

Joining her on stage will be the all-star jazz band and all-star jazz choir, chosen from among the best student musicians at the Connection.

Jackie’s reputation is well established in the jazz world. Her recent CD, Doozy, was the #1 jazz CD nationwide for seven weeks on Jazzweek and rated four stars from industry bible Downbeat.

McGarvin is not alone in his admiration for this year’s Edmonds headliner.

Don Heckman, the jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times, called her “a world-class talent,” and the London Evening Standard described her as “one of the finest singers … since Shirley Horn.”

Off stage as well as on, those who know Jackie call her a genuinely warm person. She is enthusiastic in her work with young musicians, one of the main factors contributing to her selection as this year’s headliner.

The 50 members of the Rotary Club of Edmonds Daybreakers originated the Edmonds Jazz Connection in 2001 and have produced it annually ever since.

A music festival in every sense of the word, it is called a “connection” because of its aim of establishing a connection between student musicians, the community and the professional jazz world.

Jackie Ryan with Clark Terry

Those familiar with jazz and its big names will be impressed that Jackie Ryan has worked with the likes of Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, Barry Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Red Holloway, Benny Green, Jon Mayer and Jon Hendricks.

As a singer, Jackie has a three and a half octave range.

Her mother, who was Mexican, crooned Spanish folk songs to her when she was a child and her father, who is Irish, is a classically trained baritone who sang in several languages.

So it is not by accident that her appeal “bridges the gap between both geography and generations,” as Billboard magazine so aptly put it. She was born to it.

Another Jackie Ryan CD, “You And The Night And The Music” was 34 weeks on Jazzweek’s sales chart, including being named number-one nationwide.

As Heckman of the LA Times said, “Any jazz singer who can claim praise from the likes of Clark Terry, Jon Hendricks and Terry Gibbs deserves careful consideration.”

Edmonds music lovers will find out on Saturday night, May 29, when Jackie headlines the finale of this year’s Edmonds Jazz Connection. Tickets are $35 and are available through the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 425-275-9595, or on line at http://www.ec4arts.org.


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