Ann Hampton Callaway is one of the finest singer/songwriters of our time. The statuesque performer dazzles music lovers as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, and educator. Her talents have made her equally at home in jazz and pop as well as on stage, in the recording studio, on TV and in film. She is best known for starring in the hit Broadway musical SWING! and for writing and singing the theme to the internationally successful TV series, THE NANNY. Ann is a devoted keeper-of-the-flame of the great American songbook. She brings fresh and original interpretations to these timeless classics and works to uphold the canon by writing songs with Cole Porter, Carole King, Barbara Carroll and others. Her spontaneity, intelligence, and soulful charisma have won her a diverse fan-base including notables as Barbra Streisand, Clive Davis, Carly Simon and Wynton Marsalis.
The New York Times writes, For sheer vocal beauty, no contemporary singer matches Ms. Callaway. Ann attributes her voice and love of music to her mother, Shirley, who throughout her childhood sang and played torch songs, Gershwin and German lieder at the piano. Of the uniquely musical household she says, I didn't know it at the time, but we were sort of the Von Trapp family of Chicago. After a music teacher discovered her unusually mature soprano voice, Ann was encouraged to study classically, honing the pitch-perfect control and expressive three octave range she is known for. While her voice teachers suggested she could have a career in opera, Ann eventually realized that she would be happier singing the music she most loved. Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder, she was fascinated by the challenge of drawing these threads together into her own original singing style. After serving two years in college as an acting major, she packed her bags and moved to New York where she promptly got a job singing six hours a night at a piano bar. Her early days in New York caused a stir as she made a growing name for herself in watering holes and small cabarets throughout the city. She eventually became known as the singer who stills the room. After receiving advice from legendary pianist and mentor George Shearing, she began stepping away from the piano and started performing with some of the finest musicians in jazz, refining her ability to scat, swing and inhabit a song. Today she travels with her musical director, Ted Rosenthal, who accompanies her in nightclubs and concert halls around the world. Her piano playing remains part of her performances as she concludes most concerts with her signature improvisation, playing and singing a hilarious and well-crafted song based on words and phrases called out from the audience.