Mary Stallings, vocals; Alan Steeger, piano; Ron Belcher, bass; Darrell Green, drums
Saturday, June 28 | 8 pm | Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $28 general | $14 students
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford
For more information, go to our Ticketing
“Stallings’ voice is supple and timeless… encompassing
the whole history of music.” – San
According to the New York Times, “perhaps the best jazz singer
singing today is a woman almost everybody seems to have missed.” That
woman is Mary Stallings, a Bay Area native who established a name for
herself as one of the finest jazz singers of the 1960s, performing
with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Cal Tjader, Billy Eckstine,
and Count Basie. After taking a hiatus from her recording career in the
1970s to raise her daughter and work as a clothes designer, Stallings
stepped back into the national jazz spotlight in 1999 when the owner
of the famous Village Vanguard nightclub in New York heard a recording
of her singing and eventually tracked her down at her home in San Francisco.
Ever since then, jazz fans have had the pleasure of rediscovering Stallings,
whose voice and phrasing continued to mature and improve during her long
sabbatical. In 2006 she was presented with the San Francisco Jazz Festival’s
Beacon Award for her contributions to jazz in the Bay Area.
Q&A with Mary Stallings
What is the first recording you remember hearing as a child?
What job would you have if you weren’t
a jazz musician?
What’s the strangest experience you’ve
ever had on the bandstand?
various wardrobe malfunctions that I cannot speak
What's your favorite food?
What's the most exotic place you’ve traveled
to as a musician?
What‚s the last book you’ve read?
“The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne
If you could play with any other musician, living or dead (with whom
you have not played), who would it be and why?
Hank Jones, Jimmy Jones for obvious reasons
What's your favorite tune?
What's your favorite jazz venue?
Village Vanguard, NY
Who is your greatest musical influence?
Dina Washington, various horn players and many musicians over so many
years – that’s a tough question!
How much do you practice each week?
15–20 hours per week.
What hobbies do you have?
gardening, interior design
When did you become interested in music,
and what circumstances or events led to your becoming a professional
I began singing when I was eight years old, and started working at
that age. I was introduced in church to religious music which formed
my dreams, and career from there. I sang at the age of 15 professionally,
it's all history from there on out.
If you were to describe your music as
a color, what color would it be and why?
blue, red, yellow, and white. It all depends on the day, the mood,
the love, etc.