Born: September 22, 1942 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
She's known as a jazz artist, but some only knew her as a disco artist, while others yet think of her in an R&B mode. So who is Marlena Shaw? Well.....she is all of these. Ask Marlena and she'll flat out tell you she's a jazz artist, yet there's no denying her R&B sides and her disco undertakings.
Born Marlina Burgess on September 22, 1942 in New Rochelle, New York, she inherited her love of music and jazz in particular from her uncle. After her uncle, Jimmy Burgess, introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug, and purchased records by Al Hibbler, a vocalist who had a big influence on her singing style. When she was ten she performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater, and despite the enthusiastic reception she received in front of one of the world's toughest audiences, her mother refused to let her go on the road with her uncle, a trumpet player....
Source: James Nadal