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Francina Connors

Co-Founder • Production Coordinator • Jazz Vocalist

Francina Connors

They say good things come in small packages. And so it goes with jazz vocalist, Francina Connors. In an age of gimmicks and slick packaging, this diminutive songstress returns majesty and beauty to the "first instrument" with a natural and unaffected style.

In just a few years on the New York scene, Francina's vocal stylings have led to performances in such noted jazz venues as Smalls, The Village Gate, Birdland, St. Nick's Pub and Tatou. To her credit, Francina has performed with young jazz artists Eric Lewis (P) and Jason Moran (P), Cyrus Chestnut (P), Gerald Cannon (B) and Bruce Edwards (G), as well as seasoned jazz stalwarts Joe Knight (P), Benny Powell (Trb), Tom Macintosh (Arr./Trb), John Ore (B) and Britt Woodman (Trb).

The daughter of a classical pianist, Francina began singing at five, continuing on to numerous choirs, small ensembles, public television work and solo competitions. She contributes her keen ear and harmonic sense to a rich diet of musical styles. Her background includes classical, spirituals and extensive choral work as well as the sounds of her Cleveland, OH roots, which provided an intro to jazz with a healthy foundation in R&B, Soul and Funk.

Francina fell in love with jazz while at Oberlin College. While studying voice in the Oberlin Conservatory, she performed as soloist the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble under Wendell Logan and Kenny Davis and in jazz, and R&B. Subsequently she moved to the dues paying New York City to further hone her skills. Francina's studied with Opera Ebony's Wayne Saunders, jazz vocalist, Sheila Jordan, and under the careful tutelage of jazz masters Barry Harris, Benny Powell and continues making headway on the competitive New York jazz scene.

Francina's wide vocal range and diverse musical background have afforded her a myriad of opportunities in and out of jazz. From an Off-Broadway show with Thuli and Dumakude and The South African Singers, recording with Calypso artist, Arrow and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, jazz bassist Bill Lee and The Bill Lee Family Singers and joined Barry Harris Jazz Choir in festival in Den Haag, The Netherlands. This versatile artist definitely likes to stretch! She regularly on the New York scene leading her own ensembles as well as duos with noted guitarist, Michael Howell at venues throughout the city. Her latest endeavors include songwriting (hear her originals on her debut CD, winter 2007) joining her family with a new music services entity, The Cinarae Group, as well as co-founding (with legendary bassist, Reggie Workman) the upcoming Sculptured Sounds Music Festival (Feb 2007, NYC).

If talent, charm and tenacity are the keys to success, expect a bright future for this blossoming artist.

For further information, please contact: Cinarae Music

P.O. Box 1196

New York, NY 10026

(212) 388-8609

cinarae@yahoo.com

CONTACT:          Cinarae Music                            STYLE:  All styles (jazz concentration)
P.O. Box 1196,
New York, NY   10026
(212) 388-8609/cinarae@yahoo.com

FESTIVALS
Harlem Arts and Music Festival (Performed with my group, The Francina Connors Quartet.  Francina Connors (V), Eric Lewis (P), Hill Greene (B) and Craig Haynes (D). 
The Barry Harris Jazz Workshop. Performed with Barry Harris Community Choir in workshop at the Dutch Royal Conservatory, Den Haag, and The Netherlands.
Reggie Workman’s Sculptured Sounds Music Festival, Co-Founder, Prod. Coord.

RECORDING
“To be Titled” with the Barry Harris Jazz Choir.
"Contour"   Manhattan Jazz Orchestra. (Blue Lion Music.) 1998. Featured vocalist.
Regularly background and on songwriter demo projects.
 Demo project accompanied by Cyrus Chestnut (P), Ernie Barnes (B) and Taru Alexander (D).
Knock 'em Dead."   Arrow.  1987.

THEATER
“Gethsemane Park.”(Musical) Written by Ishmael Reed. Directed by Rome Neal. Nuyorican Poet’s ‘Café. New York.
"Thuli Dumakude and the South African Singers." Off-Broadway, John Houseman Theater, New York, NY.
"Cry Freedom" (Movie).  Gala screening. Paramount Pictures.  Hollywood, CA.
"Classical Music of Our Heritage."   A children's musical on the history of jazz. The Children's Museum of Manhattan.
"Czechoslovakian Marionette Theater."  "Rasulka." A marionette theater piece featuring music by Anton Dvorak and a commissioned jazz work by Bassist/Composer, William Parker.  Performed the jazz voice of puppet character, Rasulka.

NIGHTCLUBS AND OTHER VENUES
Various venues including:    Smalls…Birdland…Nuyorican's Poet's Café... St. Nick's Pub... Mobay … Londel's … Sylvia's Too!… Creole … Visiones...Tatou...Sign of the Dove.…Symphony Space... Creole… The Village Gate…The Queens Museum of Art…The Studio Museum of Harlem…New York and Queens Public Libraries…Trinity Church….Royal Dutch Conservatory….Saint Peter’s Church.

OTHER CREDITS (including television/film credits)
"Jazz Corner" (Featuring The Francina Connors Quartet (to be taped October 8, 1999 at MNN) … “International Women in Jazz." Manhattan Neigborhood Network (MNN), cable show.  1996-1997. Host. "Opening Night with Genovis Albright" (Cable, MNN, BCAT and Bronx Cable). Featured Guest….
Films: “Manchurian Candidate” (2004/Jonathan Demme, Dir., Extra. “Stepford Wives,” (2004, Frank Oz, Dir.), Extra. “The Interpreter” (2004/Sydney Pollock, Dir.), Extra. The Barry Harris Community Chorus,
“My Harlem” Independent short. Songwriter, Singer and Voice-Over artist for independent film project, My Harlem.

EDUCATION: Oberlin College, B.A., Govt., Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Studied Voice (Gerald Crawford) and Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Ensemble (Wendell Logan); Univ. of Amherst ("Bright Moments" Summer Jazz Workshop);  Jazzmobile; Voice (Jack Waddell & Gregory Hopkins);  Barry Harris Jazz Workshop;  Jazz Theory & Composition (Earl Coleman); Rhythm and Solfeggio (Boys Harbor Conservatory), Sheila Jordan (City College of NY) .

 

 


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