Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Nakasian, Stephanie (Patricia Stephanie)
Stephanie grew up in Bronxville, NY. Studied classical piano, violin, sang in choirs, and studied voice with Joe Scott 1980-5. Majored in economics at Northwestern U and worked in finance field until 1981. She first came to international attention when she sang and toured 1983-4 with Jon Hendricks and Company. Since then, she has toured and recorded as a leader and with pianist Hod O'Brien, her partner since about 1980. Together with their daughter Veronica they make their home in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has appeared frequently as a guest artist with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band on their internationally syndicated Public Radio show Riverwalk to portray Lee Wiley, Peggy Lee, Helen Ward, Helen Humes, 20's singers, and blues singers. More recently Stephanie portrayed herself on the show with Dick Hyman on two tributes (to composers Hoagy Carmichael and Walter Donaldson). Her original concert revues such as "The Great Ladies of American Song" and various composer and singer tributes have been favorites with schools and universities and concert goers. Her "Great Ladies" revue, which traces the development of jazz singing from Bessie Smith and the Blues through Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, and the Band singers to Broadway, Bebop and Beyond, is offered as an academic course at the University of Virginia where she also teaches private voice. In addition, Nakasian teaches jazz voice and vocal jazz improvisation at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. She has directed vocal jazz ensembles and gives numerous workshops each year to schools and conventions (including the Virginia Music Educators annual convention and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond) on "Teaching Jazz Voice," "Coaching Jazz and Show Choirs on Jazz" and "How to Sing what's NOT on the Page." Her many festival appearances include the Northsea Jazz Festival (Holland), the Kool Jazz Festival (NYC), S.C. Jazz Festival, N.C. Jazz Festival, Main Street Jazz Festival (Columbia, SC), the Big Gig (Richmond, VA), the Bethlehem Musikfest (PA), Pensicola Jazz Festival, and numerous appearances at the Delaware Water Gap Jazz Festival (PA). She was also featured on a tribute to Kenton singer June Christy with the Pete Rugolo Orchestra at the West Coast Jazz Festival in Newport Beach, CA, and headlined at Bud Shank's, Port Townsend Jazz Festival. Concert appearances as a featured performer include performances with Urbie Green, Pat Metheny, Milt Hinton, Clark Terry, J.R. Monterose, Joe Temperly, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough, Valery Ponomarev, and (with Jon Hendricks) Red Mitchell, Hank Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, and Annie Ross, to name a few.
Comin' Alive (with Phil Woods); French Cookin'; Bitter Sweet (with Vic Juris); Invitation to an Escapade; Lullaby in Rhythm (with Harry Allen);
Television and radio broadcasts:
Stephanie Nakasian has appeared on television and radio in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and the Caribbean. National Public Radio featured her on a one-hour concert on "Jazz Set" hosted by Branford Marsalis. Also, a Public Television special featuring two duets with trumpet legend Clark Terry.
Book by Nakasian:
It's Not on the Page! (Vocal Jazz Manual)