CLS: The Voices of Jazz
Join singers Evelyn Wright and Michael Shirtz as the explore our favorite legendary jazz singers of yesterday and today in a performance-based lecture presentation. From Billie Holiday to Nat King Cole, to Mel Tormé and Ella Fitzgerald and more, what made their voices, songs, and styles transcend to the music of the pages and into our hearts.
Evelyn Wright has been a professional singer for more than three decades with experience in jazz, R&B and pop. A native of Cleveland and graduate of John F. Kennedy high school, she was voted Best Female Vocalist in 1985 in conjunction with WCPN. She won the 1993 award for Most Promising Female Artist and Favorite Female R&B singer from Midwest Urban Music. Wright is renowned for her expertise and warmth. Her recordings include a live performance with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra at the Bop Stop. Wright has toured throughout the United States and Canada, performing in top hotels, nightclubs and concert halls. She also performed for First Lady Rosalyn Carter. Former Mayor Michael White officially recognized her for the entertainment she has given to the City of Cleveland.
Michael Shirtz, performer, producer, composer and conductor, is known for his versatility with jazz, contemporary and classical music. Credited as a “songsmith” for his vocal interpretations and arrangements, Shirtz is an active singer, vocal coach, and music director for educational, repertory theatre, collegiate, and pops music productions, currently serving as music director/producer for Maureen McGovern. As a performer Shirtz incorporates his interests in composing and arranging music with jazz, blues, funk, gospel, and singer/songwriter material. His Brubeckian piano playing is a direct influence in his own music. Having recorded and produced on other artists’ albums, Shirtz released his first solo album, Blue Skies in 2018.
See Chautauqua Jazz Week Experience for more information about events happening throughout the week.
Lakeside’s Jazz Week is made possible by the Ohio Arts Council’s 2022 Arts Resiliency Initiative Community grant. The Ohio Arts Council is funded in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature. The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically.