HOLLI ROSS is a serious jazz singer who knows how to present a song
with a measure of elegance…a top-tier jazz vocalist.”
– Edward Blanco, All About Jazz
Holli is a swinging solo jazz singer, a top-notch jazz vocal teacher, and a skilled vocal ensemble singer. Her vocal group experience is, of course, well documented on recordings with String Of Pearls. In her career she has also been part of the Washington DC-based quartet, Mad Romance, and the NY-based quintet, 5 Steps Beyond. Holli's work with these groups included high-level festival and concert appearances, such as features with Peter Nero and the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, and sets at the JVC and The Monterey Jazz Festivals.
Holli recently brought forth her first solo recording as a leader on Miles High Records, titled “You’ll See.” Backed by a stellar band of NY’s top jazz musicians (Ted Rosenthal, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson, Claudio Roditi and Dennis Wilson), Holli graces the airwaves with fresh treatments of choice selections from the Great American Songbook as well as several original lyrics penned to compositions by both Roditi and Reid (co-written with fellow Pearl, Jeanne).
In pursuing her solo career, Holli has performed at top jazz clubs and concerts nationwide, from New Orleans' Snug Harbor to New York's Blue Note. She has toured Europe and recorded with the well-known German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmidt; she has also written lyrics to several of his compositions. Holli has recorded with organist Jack MacDuff and has performed with jazz greats, Gene Bertoncini, Don Braden, Cecil Brooks lll, Bill Charlap, John Faddis, Bill Mays, Darmon Meader (of the NY Voices), Harmonica/vibraphonist, Hendrik Meurkens, Bucky Pizzarelli, Claudio Roditi, Ted Rosenthal, Dennis Wilson, and one of her greatest influences, singing giant, Jon Hendricks. Her discography also includes appearances on the NY-based "New Singers, New Songs" recording project.
Holli received her degree from Mannes College of Music (performance in bassoon) and studied with the great jazz saxophonist Warne Marsh. As a published songwriter for ASCAP and GEMA, Holli has penned lyrics to compositions by Miles Davis, Harold Danko, Roger Kellaway, Ivan Lins, Bill Mays, Roberto Menescal, Rufus Reid, Claudio Roditi, Sarah Vaughan, and Mal Waldron. Her songs have been recorded by Mark Murphy, Meredith D'Ambrosio, Giacomo Gates, String of Pearls, 5 Steps Beyond, and Janis Siegel (of Manhattan Transfer) with the Count Basie Band.
Holli is a dedicated music educator, conducts clinics across the country, and teaches extensively in the New York area, most notably at Hofstra University, Montclair State University and Mannes College of Music. Holli is also a licensed voice therapist specializing in voice disorders and has a private practice in New Jersey.
SUSAN HALLORAN has worked in musical theater, television, nightclubs, and as a sought-after studio and jingle singer. She began her career in the theater, with lead roles such as Lily in Carnival, Gouch in Mame and Hedy la Rue in How To Succeed in Business. Soon she began to branch out into nightclub and concert appearances, and then joined several pop singing groups that toured the U.S. and appeared on variety shows such as Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Her distinctive jazz/pop soprano voice eventually led her into the competitive world of radio and television commercials, landing her solo accounts with McDonald's, ATT, Hertz, Dunkin' Doughnuts, Ford, Red Lobster, and Woman's Day Magazine, to name just a few.
Sue has been a back-up vocalist for major recording artists from Paul Anka to David Byrne of the Talking Heads, and just finished singing backup on the latest CD project of David Clayton Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears. She has performed in concert with Doc Severinson, Peter Duchin and the Elgart Orchestras. Sue also enjoyed a three-year engagement as the lead singer with the Red Parrot big band at the Red Parrot Night Club in midtown Manhattan. She has shared concert stages with Phil Woods, the late great Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan.
Sue was the featured vocalist with the renowned New York Saxophone Quartet. The four virtuoso reedmen and Sue combine as "Four Saxes and A Pearl," creating a totally unique sound with a diverse and charming repertoire. Sue has performed with the saxophone group on concert stages in the Midwest, Southeast and New York City.
Sue has a new CD “I CAN COOK TOO!” that she recorded with her husband and reed master, Ken Hitchcock. They produced this CD in celebration of their 25th wedding
“Sue Halloran is a woman who knows what to do with a song and has the vocal chops to do just that. Her phrasing is imaginative and creative.”
“I CAN COOK TOO!” - Sue brings all the lyricism, the cool romance and the hot swing of all the great ones. Ken is one of our strongest and most creative practitioners of the reeds."
- Rob Mounsey - Jazz Inside
“…a captivating jazz singer.”
- Jim Dwyer, The New York Times
“EXQUISITE…a buttery alto and nimble, graceful phrasing."
- Greg Haymes, Albany Times Union
JEANNE O'CONNOR is a jazz vocalist who has delved deep into the heart of the Great American Songbook with swing, subtlety, and deep musicality. She has also brought her clear, expressive alto voice to Brazilian music, pop, and R&B.
Of course, she is a founding member of String of Pearls! Jeanne also co-created “Lanham and O'Connor,” a vocal duo with singer Richard Lanham that moves easily between swing and soul. And, most recently, she started “Jeanne O’Connor and the New Standard,” a group that re-interprets great songs from the 60s and 70s with lush vocal harmonies and great grooves.
Jeanne has appeared at New York's Blue Note, Elaine's, Sweet Rhythm, the Rainbow Room, Smoke, and many other jazz clubs. She starred in the Irving Berlin tribute at Michael's Pub. Jeanne was recently a featured vocalist on opening night of "Midsummer Night's Swing" at Lincoln Center, sharing the stage with Nicholas Payton. She did a six-week run at the Guggenheim Museum as part of its "Worldbeat Jazz" series. In New York’s Capital Region, Jeanne has appeared at the legendary Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, Justin’s jazz club in Albany, Upbeat on the Roof at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, “A Place For Jazz” concert series in Schenectady, concerts sponsored by the Swingtime Jazz Society, and the Saratoga Arts Festival.
Jeanne sings with some of the country's leading swing and jazz bands, including Vnce Giordano and the Nighthawks. She also works doing backup vocals, studio work, and private functions.
Jeanne recently released her first solo CD, “Something’s Coming,” on the Perldisc label. It features inventive arrangements by Gil Goldstein, Lee Muiker, and her late husband, the brilliant Don Grolnick, as well as playing by Lee Musiker, Jay Leonhart, Todd Coolman, and other stellar New York-based jazz artists.
Jeanne studied piano and sang in pop and folk bands as a youth, but went on to study liberal arts at Brown University. There, she began singing in nightclubs with jazz and swing bands. She moved her singing career to New York in the 1980s. In 1992, she married the brilliant pianist, composer, and producer Don Grolnick. Don succumbed to lymphatic cancer in 1996, a loss that resounded throughout the music world. Jeanne has since remarried, to physicist David Atkatz, who taught at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Jeanne divides her time between New York, Saratoga, and wherever her music takes her.