Primary Instrument: Vocal
For over 20 years Eileen Howard’s performances on stage and with R&B, blues and jazz groups have delighted audiences in Chicago, Ohio, New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rome. In addition to being an award winning and critically acclaimed actress, she is versatile vocalist, composer and recording artist with styles ranging from belt to jazz to Latin to rock to blues to R&B. Eileen began her singing career in her teens singing in a neighborhood “garage” rock band in Chicago. After obtaining a degree in International Studies and Marketing from the American University, she lived all over the world and occasionally sang pop and standards when opportunities arose, including in Paris, Sydney, Rome and Caracas.
After coming back to the US in the early 1990’s, she studied voice and acting and began performing regularly in theater in the Toledo, Ohio area and with the Toledo Opera Chorus.
Mentored by veterans Clifford Murphy and Claude Brown, she cut her teeth on jazz by sitting-in at Murphy’s Jazz Club and studying with Maryanne Russo, a prominent jazz vocalist and former singer with the Nelson Riddell Orchestra.
After her day job moved her to Columbus, Ohio, she began performing in Central Ohio theaters. and in clubs and music festivals with big bands, combos and her own jazz trio, including performances at the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Festival and Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival.
Her first CD, All Kinds of Weather was released in January of 2002 and was featured on 103.5-104.3 Smooth Jazz Radio, where DJ Fritz the Night Owl described her as having “A terrific voice, fresh interpretations of well-known lyrics, and solid jazz sensibilities”.
Her second CD, Street of Dreams was extremely well received with positive reviews and strong sales. It features three of her early forays into song writing. L.A. Jazz Review called her a singer well worth discovering. In his album review in The Short North Gazette, Fritz dubbed her One of the most creative and swingin' singers ever to vocalize on the local jazz scene.
In 2010 Eileen expanded her original songwriting with the release of her album MakeOver - all original compositions in a spiritual vein.
On the stage, Eileen has received awards and accolades. She performed in New York in the International Fringe Festival as the lead in the musical HA! HA! CLUB. Awards include Excellence in Musical Performance (JERRY'S GIRLS) and an Excellence in Directing (I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER) from The Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable, Best Supporting Actress (SISTERS ROSENSWIG - Gorgeous) from Columbus Alive arts magazine, an Honorable Mention for Best Actress from The Columbus Dispatch (BLUE PLATE SPECIAL - Della), and Link Awards for excellence from Curtain Players theater for the title role in SYLVIA and for directing CHARLOTTE'S WEB.
Eileen also received critical acclaim for her performances in A NEW BRAIN (Mother), RUMORS (Claire), MY WAY: A TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA (Woman 1), THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Mistress Ford) , GIFTS OF THE MAGI, NUNSENSE, and two guest runs at Shadowbox Live's 2Co’s Cabaret, among many others.
As a community activist, Eileen and her husband, George, worked for many years around the world in community development. In Columbus, they helped start The United Methodist Church for All People and its related economic and social community improvement programs. There, Eileen launched Harmony on the Southside, a music and arts program primarily for low income and marginalized people.
In 2012, Eileen's husband George took a job in New York which, while unexpected, happily put her in the heart of the artistic world. She can currently be seen in 702 PUNCHLINES AND PREGNANT at the Broadway Comedy Club (starting November 24, 2012). She will also be seen at The Hudson Guild Theatre in March, 2013 as The Baroness in FRANKENSTEIN. She is a company member of The Complete Theatre. She continues to perform in Central Ohio as well as New York City.
Awards: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
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
New York, NY
Willing to teach:
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.