Jazzmeia Horn with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra - San Jose Jazz

Jazzmeia Horn with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra

Winter Fest: Counterpoint with Ukraine
Thu, Feb 16
6:30pm doors; 7:30pm showtime (Pacific)
$35; $40 door / Mayer Theater, Santa Clara University

A winner of both the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, Jazzmeia Horn is one of the premiere vocal talents in modern jazz. Jazzmeia will perform arrangements from her most recent album, Dear Love, accompanied by the Marcus Shelby Orchestra and featuring internationally recognized Ukrainian trumpeter Dennis Adu.

The New York Times states “Horn is among the most exciting young vocalists in jazz, with a proud traditionalism that keeps her tightly linked to the sound of classic figures like Nancy Wilson and Betty Carter, but a vivacity of spirit and conviction that places her firmly in the present.”

Jazzmeia’s talents emerged in Dallas, Texas, and blossomed at an arts-focused high school. Through both unfettered determination and inherent skill, the young singer traversed a singular path, raising funds through performance for her eventual matriculation to The New School. The following years, residing in New York and touring the world, revealed a restless aesthetic development that’s defined Horn’s still-burgeoning career.

Dear Love, her first big-band effort, features the 15-piece Noble Force ensemble and highlights her ever-expanding talents. It’s a recording that brims with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements and fiery musical ideas. Released on Jazzmeia’s own Empress Legacy imprint, it follows Love & Liberation (2019) and A Social Call (2017), which each earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album.

“I tried to figure out how the songs can be in alignment with what's true to me and what's true in my reality as a Black woman, but then also be relatable to anyone who’s not part of my culture,” she said of selecting songs for this album. “These songs are love letters to everyone.” 

Composer, arranger, and educator Dennis Adu is one of the most in-demand trumpet players on the Ukrainian improvised scene. He has shared the stage with Frank Lacy, Gregory Porter, Curtis Fuller, Javon Jackson, and John Hollenbeck, and featured at several international festivals and competitions, including Millau en Jazz and Fel du Sher (France), Jazz A Vienne (Austria), and Alfa Jazz Fest (Ukraine). 

The Marcus Shelby Orchestra is led by San Francisco based composer, bassist, bandleader, and educator Marcus Shelby. His work focuses on the history, present, and future of African American lives, social movements, and music education.

Marcus has composed several oratorios and suites, including “Harriet Tubman,” “Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio,” “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” and “Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues.” Currently, he is the Artistic Director of Healdsburg Jazz and an artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.

Jazzmeia Horn Instagram

Dennis Adu Instagram

Marcus Shelby Instagram


Big Band, Ukrainian Artist, Vocal Jazz


Jazzmeia Horn - vocals

Winter Fest

The "cool" counterpart to our annual Summer Fest, Winter Fest presents the best new discoveries in jazz, blues, Latin, salsa, Americana and more.

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