Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Eileen Howard is one of those rare entertainers with the sensitivity and flair to deeply evoke the human condition in her work. She’s received accolades and awards as a singer, songwriter, and actress. Eileen is active on the jazz scene as a noted vocalist and interpreter of the American Songbook. She’s also received acclaim as a gifted songwriter, most notably for an album of contemporary spirituals.
But no other album in the New York City-based vocalist’s impressive two-decade, five-album music career embodies her total artistry as her latest, Blues in the Green Room.
Her first blues album feels like a genre classic—it’s a live album of thoughtfully chosen blues standards and revelatory obscurities. Eileen’s grace and humor as a performer is on full display here, from her sweet-as-molasses vocals to her between-song witty and insightful vignettes. The main qualification for singing the blues is life experience, and Eileen’s life has been quite an adventure. She’s moved 36 times and lived all over the world. As a child, she lived in the epicenter of Civil Rights movement in Chicago’s inner city ghetto and actually marched with Dr. King. She grew up in a radical leftist religious organization. And she’s been married for 35 years and raised two kids.
Eileen is a distinguished actress whose received “Excellence in Musical Performance” and “Excellence in Acting - Supporting Actress” awards from the Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable and “Best Supporting Actress” from Columbus Alive magazine, among many other acting accolades. As a singer, noted critic Scott Yanow of the Los Angeles Jazz Scene praises Eileen thusly: “The singer’s wide range, attractive voice and ability to interpret a wide variety of material make this a highly enjoyable listen. This is a singer well worth discovering.” She’s performed at countless jazz and blues festivals, and released and produced a stunning album of original contemporary Christian music. “Blues ties together my acting, my spiritual side, and, of course, my music,” she says. “It brings together all these pieces as a performer because the songs have a narrative and I can really connect with that.” Eileen took inspiration from real life when crafting the album’s program of blues. She pairs a soulful and stirring “Black Coffee” with an uplifting “Wild Woman Don’t Have The Blues” for a powerful narrative on heartbreak and transformation. “Those were inspired by two girlfriends whose husbands had midlife crises and had affairs and left them. “In ‘Black Coffee,’ I changed the ending to have the woman not waiting anymore,” Eileen reveals. “These women dealt with loss but reinvented themselves.” Her downhome humor comes out in her rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Built For Comfort,” originally written for Howlin’ Wolf to celebrate, and sweetly poke fun at, his robust stature. With a brief spoken intro called “Eileen’s Reason #3 to Sing the Blues,” Eileen hilariously recasts this tune to be about the poundage we all gain as we succumb to our sweet tooth cravings. Eileen produced Blues in the Green Room and it was recorded live at The Green Room in the historic Garden Theater in Columbus, Ohio on April 14, 2012. Joining her onstage is a powerhouse of a blues band, featuring the refined talents of Ed Moed, keys, Chris Ciampa, bass, David Bennett, guitar, Randy Mather, sax, and The Governor (Gregg Peirson), drums. In a conclusive and reflective moment, Eileen says: “The whole point of entertainment is to touch people’s heart. I’m a communicator, I like to tell stories, be it lost love or stories of joy, it’s cathartic for people and connects my heart to their heart.” Written by Lorne Behrman
Awards:Mimi, A NEW BRAIN, Supporting Actress, Excellence in Acting Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable Woman 2, JERRY'S GIRLS Excellence in Musical Performance Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable. Gorgeous, SISTERS ROSENSWEIG Best Supporting Actress Columbus Alive Arts Magazine Della, BLUE PLATE SPECIAL Honorable Mention, Best Actress The Columbus Dispatch Sylvia, SYLVIA Link Award for Excellence Curtain Players
Central Ohio jazz aficionados know her as one of the most creative and swingin’ singers ever to vocalize on the local jazz scene. This, her second CD, showcases the marvelous Howard voice and her superb interpretation and meaningful presentation of lyrics. Fritz the Night Owl Peerenboom,,Short North Gazette.
I have been playing your [song] Make Me Over, over and over and over. My listeners just love it, absolutely. I had so many calls, things just lit up. Jim Spencer, Deejay KHCA Radio
This lady can definitely sing up a storm with a voice that allows her to reach and hit the high notes with effortless ease...lush velvet voice. A very impressive vocal performance from Eileen Howard and stellar musical support make Street of Dreams a compelling album and musical treat. Edward Blanco, Jazzreview.com
A terrific voice, fresh interpretations of well-known lyrics, and solid jazz sensibilites all contribute to this superb collection. 'Tis a pleasure to have her perform on my Megaplex Stage in The Owl's House Of Jazz! Fritz the Night Owl; Smooth Jazz WJZA-WJZK on his radio program
..the most vivid performance was delivered by Eileen Howard as Gordon’s controlling mother. Howard has a great voice, too, that lifts all of her songs. (Mimi in A NEW BRAIN) The Columbus Dispatch
(Eileen Howard's) passionate singing ranks high among the rare peaks of showmanship....Howard uses her lovely voice on If He Walked Into My Life and It Only Takes a Moment (JERRY'S GIRLS) The Columbus Dispatch Howard’s rich voice dominates her duets with the men while lending poignant depths to her best solos. (MY WAY: A TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA) The Columbus Dispatch
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New York, NY
Eileen is a successful vocal coach with over 15 years of teaching experience. Specialist in pop and musical theater styles. Identification of problem spots and impediments Specific practical techniques to overcome problems Methods of vocal placement and stylization to successfully sing a variety of musical genres. Proper breathing, pronunciation, and basic singing technique Children and Teens Eileen has particular experience and enjoyment in instructing children and teens. In addition to providing private instruction for many teens and older children, she was music instructor for the Toledo Rep's Young Rep program for two years, and currently directs children's productions in the Columbus area.