Jordan, who considers Charlie Parker her mentor, began studying bass and voice performance with jazz pianist and composer Lennie Tristano in the early ‘50s, but it wasn’t until a chance meeting with bassist Charles Mingus in a Toledo, Ohio club that she took it to the stage. “He said, ‘Come on up and sing a tune with me,’” Jordan recalled, “and I said, ‘What? You don’t have a piano or guitar.’ And he said, ‘No, just with me.’ I said, ‘I can’t do that,’ and he said, ‘Yes, you can. You do it when you’re at Lennie’s.’”
Jordan said that she still remembers everything about that night, from the song that she first performed to the way that it made her feel. “I was hooked,” she said.
Jordan was just named one of the four recipients of the Jazz Masters Award for 2012, bestowed by the National Endowment for the Arts. When she received the call, she had just returned from a visit to Toronto, where she taught workshops and performed concerts. “I was in shock,” she said. “The phone rang and I thought it was one of those telemarketing guys.”
Jordan said that her show covers a lot of territory, including medleys of both Parker’s and Miles Davis’ music.
Tickets for the show are $15. For more information, visit www.colonycafe.com.