Born: December 29 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Her voice is smoky with a tart twist of lemon. Her style has been described as both recognizably traditional yet unmistakably contemporary, as she puts her personal stamp on a smart 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. 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, The Iridium, Nuyorican Poets Café, Sweet Rhythm, The Metropolitan Room and the Triad Theatre. 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....