Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Extraordinary -- a world-class talent! Don Heckman, jazz critic for the Los Angeles Times, calls her. And it's no wonder. She has a magnetic stage presence. Wherever she performs - domestically, or in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada -- it's the same story. She's been such a hit at London's famed Ronnie Scott's Club (where she has been a regular for the last eight years) that the owner, Pete King, asked Jackie to appear on Ronnie Scott's own prestigious Jazz House label and the London Evening Standard called her one of the finest singers to perform at Ronnie's since Shirley Horn. Among the many jazz greats Jackie has sung, recorded, or toured with are: Clark Terry (at the Monterey Jazz Festival), Toots Thielemans, Barry Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Red Holloway, Eric Alexander, Jeremy Pelt, Ernie Watts, Roy McCurdy, George Gaffney, Amina Figarova, Mike Wofford, Larry Vuckovich, Jon Mayer, and Jon Hendricks - just a few of the legends with whom she has shared the stage, and who sing her praises as well.
She has written and recorded not only vocalese lyrics to such be-bop improvisations as Joe Henderson's The Kicker, but also lyrics to such poignant ballads as Barry Harris's Deep Love. This creativity as an artist and performer, combined with her being a genuinely warm person, has put her much in demand for concerts both here and abroad -- with sold-out shows not only at London's Ronnie Scott's and at Christofori's in Amsterdam, but also at New York's Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club, at Los Angeles' Jazz Bakery, and at San Francisco's Yoshi's and Plush Room.
Jackie has been blessed with a three and a half octave range. Her mother, who was Mexican, crooned Spanish folk songs to her when she was a child (Jackie often includes a Spanish song on her CDs as a tribute to her mom who passed on when Jackie was in her teens); and her father, who is Irish, is a classically-trained baritone who sang in several languages. So it is not by accident that her appeal bridges the gap between both geography and generations, as BILLBOARD so aptly put it. She was born to it.
Jackie's previous CD, This Heart Of Mine (featuring Toots Thielemans and two-time Grammy Award winner, Ernie Watts), won unanimous praise from top jazz magazines, JAZZ TIMES, JAZZ IMPROV, JAZZIZ, received a '4 STAR' rating (excellent) from DOWNBEAT, and reached #5 nationwide on JAZZ WEEK's jazz chart. Her newest CD, You And The Night And The Music, is set for release in the fall of 2007. It features Red Holloway on sax -- a legend in his own time -- who has swung with jazz greats Dexter Gordon, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins and Lester Young, as well as internationally-known blues-men Muddy Waters and B.B. King. And it's backed by a host of top-flight California musicians, including Tamir Hendelman on piano, and Jeff Hamilton (co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra) on drums, who was voted #1 mainstream jazz drummer for 2006 by MODERN DRUMMER magazine.
Future releases include a double CD recorded at Tony Bennett's studio right after her 2006 Lincoln Center performance (hailed by VARIETY as savvy interpretive jazz vocalizing -- adventurous, deftly assured). It features Jackie performing with Cyrus Chestnut (named the best jazz pianist of his generation by TIME Magazine) and is backed by some of New York's hottest names in jazz: Eric Alexander on sax, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Carl Allen on drums, Ray Drummond on bass, and on guitar -- Brazilian virtuoso Romero Lubambo.
Extravagantly Gifted! . . . Astonishing range - both emotionally and stylistically. A true jazz original. -- Andrew Gilbert, jazz critic
Sweeping vocal powers. . . A real discovery of a singer. . . Jackie Ryan's chemistry of passion is truly sensational. -- John Fordham, The London Guardian
The fiery multilingual Ryan is mightily impressive! -- Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times
Singing from the heart. . . Jackie bridges gaps between both geography and generations! -- Steven Graybow, Billboard
Deftly Assured! Savvy interpretive jazz vocalizing. -- Variety
Superb! The bell-like resonance of her smokey voice coupled with her heartfelt emotion. . . puts Jackie at the top of her game. -- Jesse Varela, Latin Beat
A True Jazz Singer! I've had the pleasure of concertizing with her, so I know. Give a good listen. . . and when you have a chance to catch her in person - do it! -- Clark Terry
One loves to hear a great singer -- especially one with style, control, pitch and a wonderful sense of rhythm. Jackie Ryan is one of those rare talents -- she has it all, and is destined to become a major star! I just love her sound. -- Teo Macero
Listen to Jackie Ryan's voice and consider this: how important is it to you that vocal jazz come from the heart? Ryan's latest release proves that nothing works better on your soul than the real thing....a charm seldom seen in today's crowded singers' market. She's genuine. -- Jim Santella, All About Jazz