Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Stevie Holland continues to chart her own path as a completely original artist and unique song stylist. A dynamic performer and intelligent lyricist, she’s traversed many musical worlds, headlining at major concert halls, jazz clubs and cabaret rooms, developing an unusually eclectic fan base.
Her current project is a one-woman theatrical adventure entitled LOVE, LINDA: THE LIFE OF MRS. COLE PORTER. With music and lyrics by Cole Porter and book by Stevie with Gary William Friedman, LOVE, LINDA stars Stevie as Linda Lee Thomas, the Southern beauty who married and was a driving force behind legendary songwriter Cole Porter at the dawn of the roaring twenties. Though Cole Porter was gay, their companionship and love lasted through 35 years of marriage and together they lived a spectacular, glamour-filled life. With swinging, jazz-inflected arrangements by Gary William Friedman, Porter’s timeless music and lyrics weave through the compelling narrative, examining the darker sides of Linda and Cole's life, while celebrating the deep love they shared. The cast album was recorded and released February 2010. After 2 successful runs off-Broadway at the Triad Theater, LOVE, LINDA is currently touring regionally.
Her previous CD Before Love Has Gone, a collection of rarely recorded classics, standards and original songs, including the title track penned by Stevie and Gary William Friedman, received great acclaim from jazz and pop critics. It ranked in the top 100 jazz CDs on iTunes for ten weeks, and was picked by USA TODAY as a Top CD of The Year.
Grammy award winner Todd Barkan joined forces as co-producer with Tim Peierls and Friedman on Before Love Has Gone, helping to shape what has been Stevie’s most important release yet. Barkan, who has recorded upward of 1,000 albums, describes Stevie’s performance of “Lazy Afternoon” as “One of the finest vocals I have ever recorded. Noted author Gary Giddins contributed liner notes for the album.
Stevie’s last two releases More Than Words Can Say and Restless Willow charted at radio stations across the country, ending up on a variety of top ten lists including KSDS FM, San Diego, CA’s Top Ten CDs of the Year and the Cape Fear Jazz Appreciation Society in NC’s Top Ten CDs of the Year. The track “This Is It” on More Than Words Can Say crossed over to the smooth jazz world and remained in the top 25 on the RadioWave Jazz/Fusion chart for 2 months. On Restless Willow, Stevie recorded Jeg Elsker Dig, a haunting Norwegian love ballad (co-written with Friedman, based on an Edvard Grieg classic), which made such an impact on the Norwegian community, that Stevie was invited to sing it for the King and Queen of Norway.
Stevie's sense of humor, vulnerability, swinging jazz phrasing and sheer vocal beauty shine through with her recordings, and now on stage with LOVE, LINDA.
“Effortless swing and a radiant wit…a self-possessed tour de force.”
- Gary Giddins
“It just doesn’t get any better than this…I hear Stevie Holland and I get goose bumps. Need I say more?”
- Scott O'Brien, SMOOTHJAZZ.COM
“Before Love Has Gone shows that Holland’s brilliantly captivating More Than Words Can Say was no fluke…I could go on and on, but instead, I will abbreviate in conclusion by emphasizing that I could listen to this lady all day.”
- George Harris, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Bay Area, Chicago Edition
Every woman who has needed to sing the blues over a cad wishes she could handle it with the class and elegance of Stevie Holland...Holland handles her melodic phrasing with maturity, total command and aplomb, and the emotional vulnerability of a woman who is completely honest with herself and comfortable in her skin...
- Susan Frances, JAZZ REVIEW.com
- Ken Dryden, AMG **** Album Pick
“Stevie Holland delivers a consistently high level performance throughout the album. Backed by a group of wonderfully sensitive accompanists and an appealing variety of musical material, this album is tops from beginning to end.”
- Clive Griffin, JAZZIMPROV Magazine
ON LOVE, LINDA:
A real sense of triumph!
- Daniel M. Gold, THE NEW YORK TIMES
One of the best Cole Porter shows ever
- Robert M. Kimball, Historian and Author of THE COMPLETE LYRICS OF COLE PORTER
- Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY
A theatrical miracle!
- J. Peter Bergman, BERKSHIRE BRIGHT FOCUS