Jordan, 75, was honored Friday at International Association for Jazz Education's 31st annual conference in New York. She also produced one of the finest one-liners at the global jazz community's largest gathering.
IAJE's Women's Caucus honored Jordan as "one of only a handful of jazz singers who deserve the appellation and for whom no other term will do."
She has been singing since the mid-1940s and found a following for her uncompromising style by the early 1960s. Jordan supplemented her career with a secretarial day job until she was 70.
On a panel called "Singing for Our Supper: Vocalists in the Jazz Marketplace," Jordan quipped: "For most of my career, I've been singing for snacks."
The award was named for Lil Hardin Armstrong, a pianist, composer, bandleader and vocalist who was the guiding force in the early career of her then-husband, trumpeter Louis Armstrong.