Born: September 19 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
2009 Blues Music Awards Nominee Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year
2010 Independent Music Awards Nominee Blues Album of the Year
Jean Shy is an internationally acclaimed Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Jazz, and Gospel Singer; Songwriter, Music Producer, Actress, and Author. With three Top Ten Hits under her belt, the 2009 Blues Music Award Soul Blues Female Artist Of The Year Nominee, is definitely a multi-talented, truly unique Artist, and audiences are overwhelmed by her powerful vocal delivery, and entertaining Show.
Born in Chicago, Jean's vocal background had it's beginning in Gospel Music. Elvis Presley was her first inspiration to become a professional Entertainer in commercial Music. Later she was also greatly influenced by Mahalia Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, and others. Jean was already receiving awards for her musical talents by the time she reached High School. At the age of twelve she was signed by Leonard and Phil Chess to the legendary Chess Label in Chicago. The release of Spring Fever by Tim & Jean became a Regional Hit.
Just before leaving High School Jean was signed by Carl Davis for Brunswick Records. With various regional Record successes she toured as an Opening-Act with Otis Leavill, Tyrone Davis, Barbara Acklin, The Chi-Lites, The O'Jays, Al Green, The Stylistics, and Jackie Wilson, gathering a tremendous amount of Stage Experience.
Jean wrote her first Album which was produced by Hense Powell; Executive Produced by Emerson Featherstone. One Single from that production Speak Talk About It was signed by Jay Butler to Playboy Records.
Jean Shy was later produced by Harvey Fuqua who was the founder and lead singer for seminal R&B/doo wop group The Moonglows. He was an early mentor of Marvin Gaye, (co-producing Sexual Healing and Gaye's hit duets with Tammi Terrell), helped to develop several Motown acts, and helped to launch the careers of '70s soul-pop group New Birth, and disco superstar Sylvester (Disco Heat, You Make Me Feel Mighty Real). The Songs Harvey produced on Jean were released on Honey Records, and a few others in conjunction with Fantasy Records.
In 1978 Jean branched out and went to Europe. Soon after she arrived in Frankfurt, Germany she performed at the famous Jazz Kneipe owned by Musician Wolfgang Dosch. There she met Dr. Carlo Bohlaender one of Europe's acclaimed Jazz Critics, Trumpet Player and Book Author who introduced her into Frankfurt's Jazz Scene as well as to one of Germany's Top Jazz, Blues & Gospel Booking Agents Dieter Nentwig. Carlo included Jean in his series of Jazz Encyclopedias as the youngest Jazz Vocalist, which Jean is very proud of.
After the performance of a few Jazz Concerts the Cultural Department sent Jean as a cultural Ambassador to represent the city Frankfurt am Main in the Partner City Milano, Italy, with an Open Air performance in front of the world famous Skala which Jean performed with one of Frankfurt's Top Jazz Bands Herbert Christ & The Jazz Babies.
Shy met Chilly Producer Bernt Moehrle (pictured right) in Frankfurt who produced two Singles Layla, and Do The Locomotion on her, which were released on Polydor Records.
Soon after Jean signed a contract with Al Coury, President of R.S.O. Records through her Business Manager Nick Sevano, who also managed Artist such as Glen Campbell and Julia McGuinnes. Producer Bob Esty was brought in to produce Shy while he was working on Albums with Barbara Streisand and Cher.
The release of this now considered classic 12 Single production of the Song Night Dancer, written by Bob Esty, and Michael W. Brooks, brought Jean her first national Record success in the US. It became a #9 Hit in the Billboard Top 100 Disco Charts.
Night Dancer also was one of the Soundtracks in the Movie Roller Boogie starring Linda Blair. The B-Side was the classic Jazz Song That Old Black Magic which made it to #13 in the US Dance Charts.
After her success with R.S.O. Jean returned to Europe making Germany her second home. Soon after, she signed an exclusive Booking Contract with the Dieter Nentwig International Musikagentur. Because a well known Colleague had to cancel a performance at the Lahnstein Blues Festival presented by SWF Radio, Jean was booked to perform with The Frankfurt City Blues Band, this concert, which was
also recorded and broadcast by SWF Radio, exceeded all expectations. After that, countless performances at national and International Jazz & Blues Festivals with The Frankfurt City Blues Band, and other known Bands such as The Blues Company, The Barrelhouse Jazz Band, The Climax Band Cologne, and JBBO (Jazz Band Ball Orchestra) followed.
Since 1982 Jean has been working with the German Label King Edward Records. Her first Album Maze (I Just Wanna Escape) was released in 1983.
Believing in Jean Shy in every aspect of her musical Talent the Label has supported her diverse Music Styles, therefore releasing various Cd's by her over the Years, which, just like her Concerts, range from Rhythm & Blues/ Blues-Rock to Jazz, Blues, and Gospel.
Jean formed her own Band Streetblues with Vladimir Rada (Bass), Gerd Freymann (Drums), Hannsjoerg Scheid (Guitar), and Mike Hoffmann (Piano). With the finishing of their first Album together in 1984 entitled Tough Enough the Band Name was changed to Bordell. When King Edward Records signed a licensing deal with Record Shack Records for a UK release of the Album, the Band Name was changed once again: Jean Shy & The Shy Guys was born. Soon after, The Shy Guys consisted of new members only.
Two original members of -The new Shy Guys- Klaus Zimmermann (Guitar), and Martin Hoette (Guitar) as well as long time members Bernhard Spiess (Drums), Sascha Kuehn (Keyboards), and Bernd Winterschladen (Sax) are still performing as part of the Band today. The newest addition to the Group was Michael -Schnuff- Strohm (Bass).
In between Touring, and Recording in Europe, Jean has gone back and forth between Germany, and Los Angeles. In 1988 she signed a five year contract with Lever Brothers, to do a :15 and :30 Sec. National TV Spot for Dove Soap. She became the National Dove Soap Lady Of The Year. The Dove Soap Spot won the CEBA Award Of Excellence. Shy was then represented by one of Americas biggest Commercial Agencies Sutton, Barth & Vennari, through which she landed other major Commercials for Silo Electronics, US West Communications and Ames Department Stores.
Jean also played a Leading Role in the Soap-Opera Secret Passions as Council woman June Tshwaila. During that same time period Jean hosted her own TV Talk Show The Jean Shy Rhythm & News Show produced by Walker Entertainment which aired weekly on Cable TV.
After the Germany release of her CD Ready For Love produced by Michael McGregor, and alongside of performing with her Shy Guys, Jean joined an interesting project in 1994. She was the featured Singer for the Dutch formation T-Spoon which prior had two Top 10 Hits. T-Spoon featuring Jean Shy (pictured below) landed a
No. 5 Hit with the very jazzy oriented euro dance track Where R U Now, and with the remake of the Janis Joplin Song Mercedes Benz in an euro reggae style, they made it to No. 7 in the Benelux.
With the following Project N678ALL featuring Jean Shy she landed at No.32 on the British Dance Charts with the Song Summernation.
Upon the request of many Fans over the Years, Jean Shy & The Shy Guys finally recorded a -Live-CD- in 1998, entitled Unchain My Heart. Because Jean almost always performs at least one Gospel Song during her Concerts, whether high powered Soul, or Jazz, many of her European Fans requested her to do a traditional Gospel Album. Finally in 1999 Jean recorded her first Gospel CD Amazing Grace, with a smaller Shy Guys formation.
Going back to her Roots, with Amazing Grace, Jean has gone on many Gospel Tours in Germany, presenting her Special Gospel & Spiritual Program Jean Shy sings Mahalia Jackson, live as well as on this CD.
Her next CD Still Swingin' (After All These Years) was recorded Live in Cologne with The Climax Band Cologne, with whom she prior recorded the Albums The Night Time Is The Right Time, and Just The Way We Are.
Performing with The Climax Band Cologne has been a continuous Special Project for Jean over the Years, keeping her Jazz Roots alive in Germany, and in The Netherlands. The CD Still Swingin' (After All These Years), was recorded in celebration of their 20th Anniversary.
In May 2002 Jean Shy toured as a Special Guest with the Jazz Band Ball Orchestra (JBBO) from Krakow for the first time, even though they had been playing on many of the same Stages for over twenty Years. The JBBO is Poland's oldest, and Internationally best known European Jazz Formation. During their Tour they performed at Jazz Festivals in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. In Hungary the Concert at the Salgotarjan Jazz Festival was recorded and broadcast by Magyar Radio.
Since the Tour was such an excellent success, they recorded a Jazz & Blues CD together at the Radio Krakow Studio, entitled The Other Side Of Blue. The CD was released in Poland in 2003. Other Tours within Poland, and adjacent countries followed, along with national Live-TV Performances, including the Polish Oscars at which the JBBO won an Award once again for being The Best Jazz Band of the Year, presenting Jean Shy as their Special Guest. The performances, and the CD received a great response from critiques, and audiences alike.
In September 2004 Jean got a leading part in a National TV Spot as well as the Print Advertisement for Target, one of the largest Department Stores in the USA. She also hosted her new Cable TV Talk Show In the Spotlight with Jean Shy.
Jean Shy's second Gospel Album entitled One Day is a mixture of live, and Studio recordings with her Shy Guys. The Album, as well as the first Radio Single entitled Precious Memories was released in the US on April 14.2005, as a joint Venture between King Edward Records, and Featherstone Records, and received much Airplay on Gospel Radio Stations across the country.
On Oct. 31.2008 King Edward Records released the Jean Shy & The Shy Guys CD The Blues Got Soul. In conjunction with this Album Jean Shy received a nomination from the Blues Foundation for the 2009 Blues Music Awards in the category of Soul Blues Female Artists of the Year.
The Music of Jean Shy & The Shy Guys are comparable to The Rolling Stones, and ZZ Top.
The latest of Jean's 13 Albums entitled Blow Top Blues, was released September 29, 2010 on King Edward Music. On this CD Jean Shy presents yet another part of her World of Blues, which is contrary, but definitely not inferior in Style from her previous Jean Shy & The Shy Guys release The Blues Got Soul.
Blow Top Blues is a brilliant Album compilation ranging from the Style of Dinah Washington, and Tony Bennett, to Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Seeing that Jean is also a Songwriter, the CD includes a few of her own compositions. The Tracks were recorded with the three main Bands that Jean has been performing with in Europe for many years. The Friends on this CD are: Shy's own Band The Shy Guys (Germany), The Climax Band Cologne (Germany), and the JBBO (Jazz Band Ball Orchestra, Poland). Three of the Tracks were produced by Michael McGregor for one of Jean Shy's Solo Albums. Last but not least, a powerful re-mastering of all Tracks was done by Mastering great Bob Big Bottom Lanzner. Altogether this makes up a superb, and unique CD that shows off that the Blues burns in Jean's veins, no matter what style of the Blues she sings. On February 15th 2011 the CD was nominated by the 10th Independent Music Awards as Blues Album Of The Year.
A critique once described Jean's performance as follows: Jean Shy has the conciseness of a Tina Turner, the vivid Northern-Soul feeling of a Van Morrison, the expressiveness of an Etta James and she convinces above all with one thing honesty.
Gertrud Gipson' Special Artist Award, 1977, USA
Southwest Discotheque Industry Award, 1978-1979, USA For the No. 9 Billboard Hit "Night Dancer".
Reve Gipson' Special Artist Award, 1985, USA
CEBA Award of Excellence, For the "Dove Soap" TV-Commercial 1989, USA
Ein Lied Für Europa, 3.Place for the German Song "Europa, Europa, Europa" Written by WALT WITNEY & JEAN SHY, performed by Jean Shy, early 90's Germany
2009 Blues Music Award Nomination in the category of "Soul Blues Female Artist Of The Year", in conjunction with the Jean Shy & The Shy Guys CD "The Blues Got Soul".
2010 Independent Music Award Nomination "Blues Album of the Year."
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