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Biography

Vocalist

Clairdee’s lustrous voice and soulful delivery hearken back to a time when jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues often blended seamlessly together. Born in Tucson, AZ and raised in Denver, CO, Clairdee grew up singing with her siblings in school and church where she also played viola. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986 where she began working with her mentor, drummer Billy Higgins, as well as trumpeter Eddie Henderson, saxophonist John Handy, and pianists Roland Hanna and Allen Farnham. In addition to leading her touring band, Clairdee has been featured in concerts with Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Cyrus Chestnut, Houston Person, Wycliff Gordon, and Ken Peplowski. She has opened for artists as diverse as David Sanborn, Johnny Mathis, and Etta James; performed at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival; and toured throughout Russia, Japan, and across the US. Clairdee’s discography includes three albums as leader; her newest recording, A Love Letter to Lena Horne, is currently in production. A passionate advocate for arts education, Clairdee is former vocal jazz instructor at UC Berkeley's Jazz Department and Diablo Valley College, and a teaching artist with SFJAZZ and the San Francisco Symphony’s education departments. She is an Artist Advisory Committee member and active mentor in the non-profit Bay Area-based organization Jazz in the Neighborhood. She makes her San Francisco Symphony debut at this performance.

(February 2019)