Jazz singer honored by peers

Jan. 25, 2004 at 4:29 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Veteran singer Sheila Jordan is the 2004 recipient of the Lil Hardin Armstrong Jazz Heritage Award.

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.

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