They say good things come in small packages. And so it goes with jazz vocalist, Francina Connors. In an age of gimmicks and slick packaging, this diminutive songstress returns majesty and beauty to the first instrument with a natural and unaffected style.
In just a few years on the New York scene, Francina's vocal stylings have led to performances in such noted jazz venues as Smalls, TheVillage Gate, Birdland, St. Nick's Pub and Tatou. To her credit, Francina has performed with young jazz artists Cyrus Chestnut (P), Gerald Cannon (B), Bruce Edwards (G), Eric Lewis (P), as well as seasoned veterans Joe Knight (P), Bill Lee (B), Tom Macintosh (Arr./Trb), John Ore (B) and Britt Woodman (Trb).
The daughter of a classical pianist, Francina began singing at five, continuing on to numerous choirs, small ensembles, public television work and solo competitions. She contributes her keen ear and harmonic sense to a rich diet of musical styles. Her background includes classical, spirituals and extensive choral work as well as the sounds of her Cleveland, OH roots, which provided an intro to jazz with a healthy foundation in R&B, soul and funk.
Francina fell in love with jazz while at Oberlin College. While studying voice in the Oberlin Conservatory, she performed as soloist for the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble under Wendell Logan and Kenny Davis. Subsequently she moved to the dues paying New York City to further hone her skills. She's studied with Opera Ebony's Wayne Saunders and, under the careful tutelage of jazz masters Barry Harris and Benny Powell, continues making headway on the competitive New York jazz scene.