Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Vitro, Roseanna (Elizabeth)
Vitro, Roseanna (Elizabeth), singer; b. Hot Springs, AR, 28 February 1951. Mother was Ruby M. Hooker, a gospel singer, from a family of gospel singers. Born Oct. 1, 1926 in Highland, Arkansas. Father was John Michael Vitro, born February 11th, 1926 in Calabria, Italy, passed away Jan. 20th, 1995. Sisters are Deborah Vitro, born 1954, Hot Springs, Ark. and Karen Penrod born 1957 in Texarkana, Tx. and both sisters are gospel singers.
She has a background of gospel singing (southern style), blues, rock, classical, show and fell in love with jazz. As a little girl sang in talent shows, hoedowns, VFW's, Murfresboro Arkansas radio at 12 yrs., studied singing at Arkansas High and sang in All State choirs, Latin, German, French, and Italian. Moved to Houston, Texas in 1971 and started singing in rock and blues bands and met Ray Sullenger, sax/vocal/piano man. He had sung with Paul Whitings Orchestra and he coached her for free for two years after hearing her sing and had a coming out party inviting all the greatest musicians in Houston, where she met Arnett Cobb in 1972, he took her under his wing. Attended his Houston Jazz Workshops. In Houston, she ran her own group for a couple of years, had a radio program where she performed and featured other artists including Oscar Peterson (and sat in with him).
I studied jazz with Scott Hardy, Houston guitar prodigy and Bliss Rodriguez, blind Dominican pianist from Harlem, from 1973-76. In 1978 I moved to New York with Scott Hardy and started studying opera with Gabore Carelli from the Manhatten School of Music from 1978 to 1980. Fred Hersch gave me a few lessons in improv in 1982. I studied 'out' improv with Donna Jewel in 1981 for a year and then met Anne Marie Moss, great jazz vocalist, who teaches at Manhatten School of Music and worked with Anne from 1982-1986 (jazz and voice technique), ear training with Kenny Werner for a few months in 1987. 1990 I started working on and off with Barbara Maier, voice technique coach and still go from time to time to her today, 2003. Piano voicings with Tom Lellis and Jason Teborek (2001-2002). Classical Indian vocalese with Dhanashree Pandit Rae in Bombay, India 1999 (6 weeks).
Relocating to NY, she studied with Ken Werner, Fred Hersch, Anne Marie Moss, Joe Lovano, Bobby McFerrin, David Leonhart and classical voice from Cabore Carelli, Manhattan School of Music. She founded the vocal jazz program in September 1996 at New Jersey City University. The Downbeat Critics polls voted her Talent Deserving Wider recognition in 1994, 95 and 2000. Her album, Passion Dance, received top 5 rating in Gavin Chart Air play.
I have been teaching vocal jazz since 1997. I taught at Suny Purchase from 1999 til 2002. I have been teaching at Jersey City University from 1997 thru 2003. I teach jazz vocals to gifted teens at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Jazz Program from 2000 to 2003. I have given vocal clinics in Capetown, South Africa, The IAJE Convention 1997, The JazzTimes Convention 1997, Cinncinati, Oh, Houston, Tx. St. Louis, MO.
My husband's name is Paul R. Wickliffe, III and he is a musician and recording engineer and producer, studio owner. My daughter is Sarah Elizabeth Wickliffe, born Feb. 26th, 1984 and is a painter.
Listen Here (with Kenny Barron Trio) (1985); Time of my Life (1986); Quiet Place (with Fred Hersch, Eddie Daniels) (1985);
Reaching for the Moon (with George Coleman, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano (1988-89); Softly (with George Coleman, Fred Hersch) (1994);
Passion Dance (with Elvin Jones, Gary Bartz, Kenny Werner) (1994-94); Catchin' Some Rays (with David "Fathead" Newman) (1997); Conviction (with Fred Hersch and Eddie Gomez) (2001); Tropical Postcard (with Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano and Trio da Paz) (2004).
Big Apple Voices: Venus in New York (1993); Marian McPartland: NPR Christmas (1997); Cheli Minucci: Stuck On You (2000); Maribor Philhamonic: Featuring Roseanna Vitro (unreleased, 2001); Andrian D'Souza: It's About Time (unreleased, 2002);
Radio and television broadcasts:
1975-1976 KUHF-Radio "Live Broadcasts" with Roseanna with Strings and Things (Houston, Tx.); KTRH-live performance, Goodmorning Show-1976;
NBC's, Fantasy Program 1983 with Steve Allen; KTRK-Live with Katheryn Blissard 1984 (Houston); New York Cable, Joe Franklin Show 1985 (NYC);
BET TV Jazz with Ramsey Lewis 1989 (Washington, DC); KBEM Live at the Dakota 1995 (St. Paul, MN) Radio; Memphis TN. Morning TV 1995 WEVR;
1996 Teluride Jazz Festival live for NPR; WBGO Live Broadcast 1996 (Newark, NJ); 1996 Live NPR with Frank Foster for his 70th birthday; 1999 Airmen of Note West Virginia Cable Network;
1999 Channel 8, Houston, Tx. A Day in the Life of a Jazz Singer, special on her life and teaching. 30 mins. Produced by Gina Miller
Unissued recordings and videos:
The Maribor Philharmonic Christmas Special, Television and recorded 2001, Maribor, Slovenia;
A live recording from New Yorks Birdland Jazz club of my "From Bebop To Bombay" band, 2002
The Downbeat Critics 1994 & 95' gave me Talent Deserving Wider recognition award.
She was inducted in the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame (1998)
Story in 2001 IAJE magazine on her studies in India.
From Bebop To Bombay (fusing Indian vocalese with vocal jazz)
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