Stephanie Jordan Headlines Xavier University's Tribute Honoring Dr. Norman C. Francis


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New Orleans songstress Stephanie Jordan is the featured entertainer for Xavier University Homecoming Tribute honoring retiring President Dr. Norman C. Francis. The “Thank You Tribute” takes place on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Xavier University Convocation Center.

Dr. Francis is the nation's longest serving university president and has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2015. During Dr. Francis’ tenure as president, Xavier has received a constantly increasing volume of national recognition for outstanding academic achievements especially in the sciences and pre-medical areas, rigorous graduation requirements and Xavier’s scholarly athletes, as well as the intellectual and moral quality of the alumni.

Jordan says, “I am honored to have been chosen by Dr. Francis to perform for this special occasion which reflects on his many contributions over the past 46 years. I have selected each song for Friday’s tribute with Dr. Francis’ stellar career in mind. Like a great song, his accomplishments will also stand the test of time.” The show includes tunes such as Signed, Sealed, Delivered; Alfie; Each One Is God's Gift to the World and other songs made famous by the likes of Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and others.

In addition to Jordan’s performance, the benefit includes a special video tribute presentation reflecting on the legacy of Dr. Francis. Jordan has also invited Xavier alums John Boutte and Wanda Rouzan, as well as James Andrews to join her in a special tribute to Dr. Francis.

Accompanied by Emmy-award winning arranger Mike Esneault on piano, the Stephanie Jordan Band will include Marlon Jordan on trumpet, Percussionist Bill Summers, Clark Knighten on the keyboards, Chris Severin on bass, Clarence Johnson on sax, Peter Varnado on drums, and the exceptional talent of Jai Reed and Angelica Joseph on background vocals; this performance is destined to be another sensation. Tickets range from $100 - $250 per person and may be purchased at xula.edu or or calling 504-520-7575. Proceeds benefit Xavier University Student Scholarships.

Stephanie Jordan is consistently praised for her poise, elegance, and soulful articulation. She draws frequent comparisons to her mentor-the legendary jazz chanteuse Shirley Horn-as well as Abbey Lincoln, and Carmen McRae. Critics have also likened Ms. Jordan to jazz stars Diana Krall and Nancy Wilson.

After her performance as a late minute replacement for Grammy Award- winning singer Leis, Chicago Tribune’s leading art critic Howard Reich proclaimed, “The woman can sing … bringing heft to music of the Gershwin’s and Cole Porter without pushing volume levels. Clearly she values plush sound and knows how to produce it.” Music critic James Walker added, “Stephanie Jordan... stepped in and simply mesmerized the near capacity Harris Theater crowd with a sparkling performance.”

Jordan whose musical career began in the DC area has performed on such stellar stages as the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the NBA All-Star Game, Chicago's Harris Theater, the Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, the inaugural International Jazz Day which was celebrated by millions worldwide during an all-star sunrise concert in New Orleans' Congo Square that included jazz luminaries Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, and others.

Stephanie Jordan had the honor of performing as featured singer during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Gala which included the presence of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; she sang before Vice President Joe Biden, as well as sang to Stevie Wonder during the National Urban League’s 2012 National Conference. Jordan also sang at the private celebration ‘Oprah Winfrey and Friends of Susan Taylor’ at New York City's ESPACE in honor of Susan Taylor's years of service to Essence magazine, and performed the National Anthem for the NBA All-Star Game. Jordan and her brother Marlon served as US Jazz Ambassadors’ on a European Tour to Bucharest, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine on behalf of the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jordan appears in a singing role in Lee Daniels' production of “The Paperboy" singing a featured tune, the movie co-stars Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, and John Cusack among others. Jordan also recorded a tune for the 2013 remake of the film “Heat” which stars Jason Statham and Sofia Vergara. In 1995 Stephanie Jordan performed the title soundtrack “Season's Start" in the Tribecca Film release of Café Society staring Lara Flynn Boyle and Peter Gallagher.

Her self-produced debut CD; “Stephanie Jordan Sings A Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young” which honors the legendary Grammy Award winner is her most current album. The “Christmas with the New Orleans Ladies of Jazz" CD produced by her sister Rachel Jordan features New Orleans' renowned jazz divas; Germaine Bazzle, Leah Chase, and Stephanie Jordan performing their favorite holiday tunes with the Music Alive Ensemble. Stephanie’s silky vocals are also featured on Marlon Jordan’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is” album and Kent Jordan’s “Out of This World” CD.

Recognized internationally, the Sud Ouest French publication calls her “unbelievably superb.” The Washingtonian Magazine labeled her “JAZZHOT.”

This story appears courtesy of Sylvain Music Notes.
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