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Maria Jacobs

Maria Jacobs is an American Jazz vocalist, singer/songwriter and author. She is the Adjunct Professor of Applied Vocal Jazz at Kent State University. Born of Syrian Lebanese and Armenian descent, Maria was raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she frequently shared the bandstand with her father Mike Jacobs, a drummer and singer in the area. She is a national voice over artist and a Traditional/Smooth Jazz recording artist who has charted on the Groove Jazz and Smooth Jazz Global Holiday Charts.

Maria became a licensed music educator following the completion of her second degree in music education from Kent State Universiy and began working as a Principal Conductor and Curriculum Advisor for The Open Tone Music Academy, who now partners with Jazz At Lincoln Center. She is also a lead vocalist for their parent organization, the acclaimed Jazz Heritage Orchestra.

This former traffic reporter and disc jockey lived in Los Angeles for twelve years and sang prestigious venues such as The Langham Huntington Hotel (formerly the Ritz Carlton,) The Four Seasons Hotel, B.B. Kings Blues Club, The Coach House and The Torrance Civic Center to name a few. She recorded with several well-known artists including Alphonso Johnson and Ndugu Chancler of Weather Report. Maria has co-written and recorded with platinum selling writer/producer Tommy Coster and soloed with acclaimed keyboardist/songwriter Lafayette Carthon and his Gospel group FAITH. Maria opened for jazz trumpeter/songwriter Chuck Mangione (The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano,) jazz singer/songwriter Bob Dorough (Columbus, Ohio), The Average White Band and British soul band Loose Ends.

Other acclaimed artists Maria has worked with include Music Director Damien Sneed (Wynton Marsalis), with whom she was also a featured soloist during the Cleveland premier of the Abyssinian Mass, as well as for William Henry Caldwell and Robert Porco (Cleveland Orchestra), for the MLK Celebration at Cleveland's historical Severance Hall. She's also performed with Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke (Broadway), and Gospel greats Billi Redd and Karen Clark Sheard.

Maria released eight solo albums: No Frills, Free As A Dove, Chasing Dreams, Art of the Duo and Here Comes Winter, Lucky Girl, and Hold On Your Heart, (a compilation album of her first six which includes the newly recorded original title track) and Bootleggin' At The Bop Stop. She performs in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and some historic Cleveland venues including Playhouse Square, Nighttown, Blu Jazz, House of Blues, The Bop Stop and The TV8 Morning Show.

Maria’s jazz albums have received wonderful reviews from national jazz critic and author Scott Yanow.

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Album Review
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The International Review of Music by Don Heckman Mar. 3. 2012 (Sat.) Maria Jacobs. A jazz-driven singer, Jacobs brings musicality, persuasive story-telling skills and a warm and supple voice to her intimate readings of the Great American Songbook. The Metropolitan Room. (212) 206-0440.

L.A. Jazz Scene by Scott Yanow


Maria Jacobs has a powerful voice, is a subtle improviser and puts plenty of feeling into her singing. Born and raised in Cleveland, she had 15 years of classical flute study and also studied piano but her main musical goal was always to be a jazz singer. She won a music scholarship to Ohio State University, sang locally, and worked as a disc jockey and at WCPN as a research assistant. She lived and sang for 11 years in Los Angeles, appearing in local jazz clubs, and currently lives in the Midwest.

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Primary Instrument

Voice / vocals



Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


Maria Jacobs is the Adjunct Professor of Applied Vocal Jazz at Kent State Universtiy. She Also teaches private voice, flute and piano from her home studio in Stow, Ohio. Maria holds two Bachelor of Arts Degrees, one in Journalism from Ohio State University and the other in Music Education, with a minor in Education, from Kent State University where she graduated with honors.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Maria is a clinician who has given songwriting and vocal pedegogy/technique clinics at The Music Settlement and at Kent State University, Stark Campus.

Dianne Reeves
voice / vocals
Chet Baker
trumpet and vocals
Ella Fitzgerald
voice / vocals
Astrud Gilberto
voice / vocals
Chaka Khan
voice / vocals


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Hold On Your Heart

Self Produced


Lucky Girl

Self Produced


Here Comes Winter

Self Produced


The Art of the Duo

Self Produced


Chasing Dreams

Self Produced




Ella Fitzgerald
voice / vocals
Maria Muldaur
voice / vocals
Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
B.B. King
guitar, electric
Dinah Washington
voice / vocals
Esther Phillips
voice / vocals
Pamela Rose
voice / vocals
Susan Krebs
voice / vocals

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