Janet Lawson

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Janet Lawson
Birth name Janet Polun
Born (1940-11-13) November 13, 1940 (age 74)
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Genres Jazz, swing
Associated acts Duke Ellington, Bob Dorough, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Milt Hinton, Dave Liebman, Joe Newman, Rufus Reid, Barney Kessel, Clark Terry, Ed Thigpen, Cedar Walton, Art Farmer, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Diane Snow, Playwrights Horizons, Eddie Jefferson
Website www.janetlawsonscats.com

Janet Lawson, born Janet Polun on November 13, 1940, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a jazz singer and educator. She was born into a family of professional musicians. As a child she performed on the radio and regional television.

She has worked with Duke Ellington, Bob Dorough, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Milt Hinton, Dave Liebman, Joe Newman, Rufus Reid, Barney Kessel, Clark Terry, Ed Thigpen, Cedar Walton and the Art Farmer Quartet.

Biography and career[edit]

Having been born into a family of professional musicians and collaborating with icons of Jazz music, Janet Lawson was soprano soloist with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in "Blood Memories" at City Center, New York, and composed and created with lyricist Diane Snow, a musical, “Jass is a Lady”, produced by Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Lawson also appeared regularly on Steve Allen's television show, The Tonight Show (1968–1969).

Lawson, a scat singer, also appeared on Eddie Jefferson's 1977 album Main Man. Her group, the Janet Lawson Quintet, has recorded two albums, The Janet Lawson Quintet in 1981, and Dreams Can Be in 1983. Her first album, The Janet Lawson Quintet was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female in 1981.[1] She lost to Ella Fitzgerald. Recordings from her two albums were recently compiled on CD, The Janet Lawson Quintet, by Cambria Master Recordings.[2]

Lawson headed the vocal jazz program at William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, from 1981 to 1988. In 1995, she developed a course for the vocal jazz program at the New School called “Jazz Anatomy: Theory for Singers,” part of a curriculum she created with singers Amy London and Sheila Jordan. In 2002, Janet Lawson lost her ability to perform due to Lyme Disease and Bell's Palsy.[3] [4] She currently lives in New York City and holds adjunct professorships at New York University, the New School and at City College, N.Y.[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • 1981 The Janet Lawson Quintet (as Janet Lawson Quintet)
  • 1983 Dreams Can Be (as Janet Lawson Quintet)

References[edit]

External links[edit]