Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

Shirley Horn

Shirley Horn remembered playing her grandmother's piano when she was four years old. Uninterested in playing with the neighborhood children, Horn enjoyed nothing more than to play that piano, and would close herself off in her grandmother's parlor, which was kept for guests and was chillier than the rest of the house. After several years of this, her mother, who admired classical music, enrolled the girl in piano lessons. Shirley was surrounded by music in her family, and admitted that the majority of the songs in her repertoire are those she heard while she was growing up, in Washington D.C. She played with a choir, at Sunday school, and won a talent contest and 13-week radio engagement at age 13. Horn studied piano and composition at Howard University Junior School of Music, in Washington, from age 12 to age 18. Though she focused on the piano works of great Western classical composers, it was jazz that eventually captured Horn's fancy. At age 17, Horn began playing in a local restaurant and nightclub. The pianist was forced into singing. “I was very shy and it was hard for me to sing,” Horn said. Realizing she could earn more money as a vocalist, she continued to play piano and to develop her singing and playing skills, and formed her own trio in 1954.

Read more

13 Photos

Albums

Live At the 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival
Live At the 1994...
Monterey Jazz Festival Records
2008
buy
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
Marian McPartland's...
The Jazz Alliance
2006
buy
But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn
But Beautiful: The...
Verve Music Group
2005
buy
[no cover]
The Best Of Shirley...
Verve Records
2005
buy
But Beautiful:   The Best of Shirley Horn
But Beautiful: The...
Verve Music Group
2005
buy
[no cover]
May The Music Never...
Verve Records
2003
buy

Similar Artists

Count Basie Count Basie
piano
Billie Holiday Billie Holiday
vocalist
Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
vocalist
Dianne Reeves Dianne Reeves
vocalist
Diana Krall Diana Krall
piano
Abbey Lincoln Abbey Lincoln
vocalist
Dinah Washington Dinah Washington
vocalist
Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
vocalist

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.