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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

Maria Jacobs: The Art of the Duo

Read "The Art of the Duo" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Simplicity in jazz performance is a sure bet when one has the chops to deliver. Jazz vocal in a duet format is one of the more exposed configurations, one where the singer liability is great. All mistakes, mis-steps and wrong notes are readily audible. Cleveland, Ohio native singer Maria Jacobs' fourth release features seven voice-guitar duets and one each with acoustic bass and piano. Jacobs is most refreshing because her voice is not over-trained and contains just enough grit to ...

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Former radio DJ Maria Jacobs soars with mesmerizing vocals on new CD

Source: Lauren Rogers

It's common to hear that many DJs actually are, deep down, frustrated musicians; it's a theory which has survived generations. Its origin is simple: A number of people feel that the fiery passion that DJs have for music could have only emanated from an unrequited desire to create it themselves. Whether or not jazz vocalist Maria Jacobs strengthens that stereotype will be a matter of perspective. Her career did begin in broadcasting, starting as a research assistant at WCPN 90.3 ...


Performance / Tour

Jazz Arts Group's Audience-Programmed CJO by Request Closes out Season with Guest Vocalist Maria Jacobs

Jazz Arts Group's Audience-Programmed CJO by Request Closes out Season with Guest Vocalist Maria Jacobs

Source: Michael Ricci

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is getting ready to close out the Columbus Jazz Orchestra's Great American Songbook season with a show chosen entirely by our audience! CJO By Request (May 20-21 at the Southern Theatre) has been programmed by audience requests taken throughout the whole 2010-11 season to create the final playlist and will feature guest vocalist Maria Jacobs. CJO Artistic Director Byron Stripling has revealed the playlist to include: “Summertime “It Ain't Necessarily So" ...

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




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.

Chet Baker
trumpet and vocals
Chaka Khan



Jun 9 Sun
Jul 19 Fri


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




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