Jazz vocalist Shirley Crabbe sings songs that speak to
the heart. As a teenager, Shirley was inspired by a
performance of Ella Fitzgerald singing the song “A
Tisket, A Tasket” in an old Abbot and Costello movie.
“I’ve always had a passion for singing, but when I
heard Ella sing, I knew that “jazz singing” was what I
really wanted to do.”
Following her passion, Shirley pursued her dreams
first to Illinois to earn a Bachelor of Music from
Northwestern University, and then back home to New
York, to study Voice at the distinguished Manhattan
School of Music (MSM). During the day she studied
classical music uptown at MSM, but in the evening,
she traveled downtown to sing jazz in the clubs.
Shirley has performed at festivals, jazz clubs and
concert series in New York City and it’s surrounding
area. Her most recent appearance was at Harlem’s
historic Jazz room, Lenox Lounge, where to a sold out
audience, she performed music from her inaugural CD
Home. She has also appeared at the Metropolitan
Room and at the world-famous jazz club Birdland.
Once the opening act for the jazz icon Abby Lincoln,
Shirley has also performed with the celebrated jazz
pianist Harold Mabern and bassist Jamil Nasser. In
2310, she was one of the top 5 finalists at Jazzmobile’s
“Best of the Best” Jazz Vocalist Competition held in
New York City. In 2309, she was awarded her
county’s highest arts award: the County Executive
Performing Artist Award. Shirley is also the Stanton
Bronze Medalist of the 2008 American Traditions
Vocal Competition at the Savannah International
Music Festival in Georgia. Shirley is a versatile
performer and has appeared in various stage
productions including Coming to the Mercy Seat at
Shetler Studio’s Theater 54 in the role of the Poet and
in Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Elmwood eater, where she
performed the role of Armelia. She is the featured
soloist on the jazz CD Africa by the Mystic Pilgrims.
On September 27, 2011 Shirley released her debut CD
Home. For the ensuing 26+ weeks (with 6 weeks
Chartbound) the album remained on the Jazz Week
Album Chart, the definitive jazz national radio chart
that reports the top Jazz albums
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."