Vocalist and radio host Mary Foster Conklin is an old school song hound, with a special talent for uncovering lesser known treasures of the Great American Songbook and performing them in nontraditional venues. Her smoky voice with a tart twist of lemon has been described as both recognizably traditional yet unmistakably contemporary, as she puts her personal stamp on a repertoire that spans over nine decades. “Scratch her witty tough-girl-from Jersey patter,” wrote The Washington Post, “and you’ll find a sensitive artist (but not frail) with a wide-ranging boldly colored voice and an open ear for off-beat material.” Mary Foster Conklin has appeared in theatres, jazz clubs, cabarets and even fire escapes in the metropolitan New York area and throughout the United States and Canada. She also hosts a weekly live radio show called “A Broad Spectrum – the Ladies of Jazz” celebrating women composers and lyricists on WFDU.FM on the HD2 channel Jazz and What's More. A New Jersey native who came to New York to pursue theatre work, her transformation from actor to jazz singer began when she joined drummer/composer Art Lillard’s 15-piece Heavenly Band and her song selections naturally shifted from show tunes to blues, Latin and bebop. As a leader, her sets are a mix of contemporary material and standards, with an emphasis on the lesser known treasures of the Great American Songbook. In New York, Conklin’s talents have earned her a place on the stages of The Blue Note, Zinc Bar, Iridium, Birdland, the Kitano and the Cornelia Street Cafe. She can also be seen from time to time singing off various fire escapes as The Lady in the Red Dress with the Renegade Cabaret. Her latest projects include THE RAINBOW PROJECT, a collaboration with pianist John diMartino and violinist Sara Caldwell, MIRRORS REVISITED, an evening of dark art songs by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller imortalized by Peggy Lee and LIFE IS A BITCH, a tribute to Beat poet/lyricist Fran Landesman, (best known for "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men") which was praised by the New York Times as "full of salt and vinegar — with the intensity and tough humor of someone who might have lived on the bohemian fringe in the late ’40s and ’50s, when the word ‘hip’ meant something." On the West Coast she has performed in Los Angeles at the In House Jazz Series, Vitello’s, the Gardenia and the Jazz Bakery.
September 28, 2007
Steve Kuhn, Vijay Iyer, Rachel Z Celebrate the Music of Bud Powell...
April 17, 2007
Mary Foster Conklin Tomorrow at the Lincoln Square Barnes & Noble at...
February 22, 2007
Mary Foster Conklin Wednesday, March 7 @ 8PM and 9:30PM Enzo's Jazz...
October 31, 2006
Mary Foster Conklin East Coast CD Release Event November 7th at Sweet...
October 24, 2006
Mary Foster Conklin Releases "Blues for Breakfast" on Rhombus Records
September 11, 2006
Mary Foster Conklin at The Jazz Bakery October 25 + The Villa Resort...
September 19, 2006
Mary Foster Conklin New CD + Upcoming Appearances
September 07, 2006
Mary Foster Conklin September 10 at Barry Levitt's Iridium Brunch
January 24, 2006
Marlene Ver Plank + Mary Foster Conklin & Cleve Douglas at the Iridium...
“Like her earlier recordings, this one [Photographs] is full of one magic moment after another. Her distinctive rich and dusky sound is completely captivating, conjuring up images of a film noir femme fatale. She is a supreme storyteller, and chooses songs that provide the kind of lyrics that lend themselves well to her approach.” Joe Lang Jersey Jazz “Stylish without pretension, sexy without posturing, and tasteful without strict boundaries, Conklin is a jazz artist with that always hoped-for combination of musical chops and sensitivity to lyrics.” Barbara and Scott Siegel - THEATERMANIA.COM “A delightfully dramatic young singer whose third album [Blues for Breakfast] amounts to a one-woman archeological survey subtitled ‘Remembering Matt Dennis’: 14 tunes, some familiar, many neglected