Born: June 27, 1968 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, this former traffic reporter and disc jockey lived in Los Angeles for eleven years and sang The Langham Huntington, (formerly the Ritz Carlton,) The Four Seasons in Westlake Village, Chaya of Beverly Hills, and The Torrance Civic Center to name a few. She has released four albums, No Frills, Free As A Dove, Chasing Dreams and Art of the Duo.
Maria also opened for jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione at The Coach House and in Columbus, Ohio she was featured with the opening act for Bob Dorough.
Maria recorded with Alphonso Johnson and Ndugu Chancler for “Chasing Dreams.” It received a wonderful review in Singer Magazine, LA Jazz Scene, All About Jazz and Jazz Corner. Also as a songwriter, she wrote “So This Is Love,” a theme song for a sitcom of the same name on the web....
L.A. Jazz Scene by Scott Yanow
CHASING DREAMS - Review
Maria Jacobs has a powerful voice, is a subtle improviser and puts plenty of feeling into her singing. Born and raised in Cleveland, she had 15 years of classical flute study and also studied piano but her main musical goal was always to be a jazz singer. She won a music scholarship to Ohio State University, sang locally, and worked as a disc jockey and at WCPN as a research assistant. She lived and sang for 11 years in Los Angeles, appearing in local jazz clubs, and currently lives in the Midwest.
Chasing Dreams is her strongest jazz recording to date. Ms. Jacobs is joined by several different rhythm sections including such notables as keyboardists Geoffrey Aymer and Richard Sherman, bassists Alphonso Johnson, Tony Dumas and Sherry Luchette, and drummers Ndugu Chancler and Ralph Penland, fine accompanists who also take occasional solos.
The repertoire is wide-ranging. the singer's long tones on “At Last” are quite effective, she swings easily on “Lullaby Of Birdland,” makes “Where Are You” sound quite wistful, and scats up a storm on her own cooker “Chasing Dreams.” The other eight songs include a soulful “Yeh Yeh” (which features her overdubbed voices), a very haunting version of John Coltrane's “Equinox” (which has the singer's original words), an adventurous reshaping of “Just Squeeze Me” and a scat-filled medium-tempo “It Might As Well Be Spring.”
Chasing Dreams is Maria Jacobs' strongest jazz recording to date and is easily recommended. She is a singer worth discovering.
Scott Yanow, author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Records 1917-76 More about: Scott Yanow
JazzCorner News (and All About Jazz in July) May 18, 2011 by Robert Sutton
CHASING DREAMS - Review
Former DJ Maria Jacobs releases new CD brimming with soulful depth
Every DJ probably has a singer inside them, and most of the time those dreams remain unfulfilled. But for Maria Jacobs, Chasing Dreams is a lifelong goal that will always be pursued.
Hers is a voice that is brimming with soulful depth and emotional power, once limited to introducing songs or announcing traffic on the radio. Now Jacobs finds herself on the other side of the booth; it is her record on the air, her lovely, velvety smooth vocals crooning over the airwaves.
Chasing Dreams is a knockout punch of an album. The impressive range and heartfelt feelings that her voice displays on Chasing Dreams is no amateur hour, no ego trip of a DJ simply wanting to be on stage with the stars.
This lady can truly sing, plumb the deep recesses of the heart. Listen to her plaintive yearning on Where Are You? Jacobs evokes chills from the desperation in her vocal performance. Her singing, crestfallen and bursting with unrequited longing, captures the bittersweet aftertaste of broken romance. The title track, on the other hand, reveals her versatility. She is upbeat and playful here, quite the opposite of the song preceding it. The bouncy piano and crisp drumming of Lullaby of Birdland seemed to inspire Jacobs to new heights; her voice absolutely soars.
Born in Cleveland, OH, Jacobs received her music education at Ohio State University. After college, Jacobs started working at regional radio stations. When she became a research assistant at WCPN 90.3 FM in Cleveland, Jacobs discovered that music would be her life, and she wanted to absorb all of it that she could. Those influences add eclectic flavors to the sound of Chasing Dreams as well as to Jacobs' multi-dimensional vocal style.
Jacobs is still Chasing Dreams but the dynamite talent on display here guarantees that she will win this race. JazzCorner News
L.A. Jazz Scene by Scott Yanow
Jacobs is a fine singer with an appealing voice, a subtle style and the ability to swing. lt is always fun to discover new up-and-coming talents in the jazz world. On her debut recording No Frills she is joined by Mike Petrone or Robert Skeets Ross on piano, Martin Block or Jesse Dandy on bass, on four of the nine songs drummer Roy King and on three tunes the saxes of Gerald Linthicome.
Among the highlights are a pair of vocal-piano uets; Black Coffee and You Don't Know What Love Is.
Based in Cleveland at the time of the recording (she has since relocated to L.A.), Maria Jacobs sings mostly melodic versions of standards (plus her own No Frills), stretching out a bit on Corcovado, In A Mellow Tone and You Don't Know What Love Is. This is an impressive start to what should be a productive career.
Singer Magazine by Greg Tutweiler
I heard Maria sing at the IAJE conference in Long Beach this past January. I was so impressed with her vocal talent I approached her afterward and asked if she ever thought of doing anything along the lines of Nora Jones. She promptly reached into her bag and handed me a CD, Chasing Dreams, with a sheepish grin on her face, I'm working on one right now. she said. This is the demo. 'I'll take it,' I said happily. And of course I was not disappointed.
Maria studied classical flute for fifteen years, but her days spent as a research assistant for a Cleveland jazz radio station DJ whet her desire to sing the smooth jazz she had been listening to. She found herself in LA in 1997 studying privately for three years with JVC recording artist Kevyn Lettau, and then on to the LA Music Academy. Chasing Dreams is not Maria's first CD, but quite possibly could be her best work to date. Her sultry voice, and eloquent lyrical content are captivating. Tracks of note, I Wish You Belonged To Me and Pour Me A Cup Of Yesterday.
Jacobs can be forgiven for her love of the Cleveland Indians and their offensive smiling Indian logo, thanks to her gorgeous, decidedly inoffensive vocals, which have graced commercials and the national anthem in major League ballparks across America, and which shine on her debut CD, No Frills.
WCPN, Cleveland, Ohio by Bobby Jackson, Music Director, Liner Notes
From the shores of Lake Erie comes a vocalist, gifted with talent and signs of a future filled with great promise. Maria Jacobs is a native Clevelander who discovered her voice in jazz while attending Ohio State University in nearby Columbus. It's been a decade of traveling back and forth from Cleveland to Columbus and neighboring communities expanding her vocabulary and gigging with some of the hippest musicians in this Midwestern hub. Jacobs is determined, focused, and ready to live out this next chapter in her development as an artist.
This CD you hold in your hands represents her first opportunity to share with a larger audience some of the experiences she has gleaned over the years, absorbing what she could from her environment both musically and personally. coating here, just favorite classic tunes she has rendered over the years. Rendered to the point where, in 1997, one could say she owns them. Accompanying this aspiring recording artist is Mike Petrone or Robert Skeets Ross on bass, Roy King on drums, a Gerald Linthicome on sax. These musicians share a common musical heritage - the Cleveland sound - and this bond comes out in the interaction among all the players on each tune. It is not overstated or understated. It is not pretentious. It is warm. It is real. Charlie Parker was quoted, If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. Jacobs has a story to tell out of her own life experience, through the vehicle of music. I have no doubt it will be the first of many.
The Richard Sherman Quintet Featuring Maria Jacobs
Free As A Dove
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Willing to teach:
Maria teaches private voice with an emphasis on technique. Genres taught include jazz, broadway, pop and some classical. Also some music theory.
She taught K-8 at St. Joseph School in Hawthorne, CA and now she also teaches Kindermusik in Ohio.
Maria is working on a music education degree currently.