Home for the Holidays
Dynamic North Coast Jazz Vocalist in Special Soul Jazz Holiday Show!
Featuring: Shirley Cook-Vocals, Eddie Baccus Sr.-Hammond B-3 Organ, Cecil Rucker-Vibes, Billy Artis-Guitar, & Perry Williams III-Drums.
Shirley Cook is a jazz vocalist with a style deeply rooted in the Blues and rousing gospel music. Cook has long had a romance with music and singing, that was first inspired by her father’s side of the family who were gospel singers.
Born in Stotesbury, West Virginia, Ms. Cook moved to Cleveland with her family when she was 2 years old. By the time she was eleven, she was singing in a gospel ensemble with her aunts, the Cook Singers, who performed for church and social functions. Throughout her teen years and into adulthood, Cook continued to sing in church choirs with her aunts.
Ms. Cook officially began her professional jazz singing career in 1983. She worked with some of Cleveland’s most notable jazz musicians including Carl “Ace” Carter, the first pianist to work with the Basie Orchestra after the count’s death. Ace Carter provided Cook with her first work, and with invaluable insights into jazz and show business. Organist Eddie Baccus Sr., who is noted for working with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, has supported Cook since 1984. Shirley has performed extensively with Peter Dominguez, Hank Geer, Willie Smith, Neal Creaque, Lawrence” Jacktown” Jackson, Greg Bandy, Teddy Pantelas, Ray Miller and Reggie Pittman to name a few.
Ms. Cook’s style is subtle and relaxed, in a manner much like Carmen McRae’s. Her early inspiration began when a friend Tim Swan lent her some albums by Billie Holiday; this opened Ms. Cook up to such inspiring singers as Abbey Lincoln who became Ms. Cook’s closet friend and mentor. Cook traveled with Abbey Lincoln, 1996 until her death in 2010. Shirley Cook has been described as a dynamic jazz vocalist who has her own style with ballads and tempos. A Great Entertainer!
Eddie Baccus Sr.
One of the senior statesmen of the Cleveland Jazz Scene, organist Eddie Baccus Sr. has set the standard locally since the early 1960's. Like the late great Jimmy Smith, Baccus is a virtuoso on the Hammond B-3, equally adept at soul jazz and bebop. In many ways Eddie Baccus Sr. has been to the jazz scene what the late Robert Jr. Lockwood was to the local blues scene; he has been a leader, mentor, and the soul of the community for many years.
Early on his talent was evident as he was linked with another jazz legend, saxophonist Roland Kirk. Baccus and Kirk were schoolmates at the Ohio School of the Blind and their sessions together in the old Euclid and 105th area are the stuff of local legends. Kirk would go on to national acclaim before his untimely death in the late 70's. Baccus stayed close to home and it has been our good fortune.
Eddie Baccus Sr. has been the bedrock of the Cleveland jazz scene and his influence on fans and musicians alike has been invaluable.