Meet our Directors

Brenda Alford

 

Brenda Alford, a graduate of the University of Miami Frost School of Music, is a
highly acclaimed singer, songwriter, and educator in academics as well as jazz
voice, and jazz history. She also has the distinction of being one of a very few
vocalists ever to record with jazz legend Horace Silver on the Blue Note Record
Label. She has performed concerts on public radio, in schools, on college
campuses, in intimate settings, church sanctuaries and large concert venues,
such as the Delaware Grand Opera House, Baltimore’s Meyerhoff Symphony
Hall, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (on the billing with Bobby
Watson, Kevin Mahogany, and Curtis Lundy), the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,
and the Sunny Isles Jazz Festival. She also appeared in two movies, Jon Waters’
original “Hairspray” and Barry Levinson’s “Avalon”.

Ms. Alford is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, a city with the rich musical
legacies of Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Eubie Blake, Frank Zappa, and the
musical genius of jazz pianist, Cyrus Chestnut, with whom she worked for
several years. While in Baltimore, she wrote and performed concerts for
children: “A History of Jazz,” “Living With Jazz,” and “Legends and Jazz,”
touring over 100 schools with her trio for about 13 years under the auspices of
the Baltimore City Office of Cultural Enrichment and the Maryland Arts Council.

Brenda has shared the stage with numerous other jazz legends over the years
including Slide Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Joe Donato, Jesse Jones, Jr., Pete
Minger, Keter Betts, Philly Joe Jones, Stanley Turrentine, Melton Mustafa, Billy
Marcus, Eric Allison, and more. Brenda was personally encouraged to become a
professional vocalist by Ms. Ella Fitzgerald, and counted Carmen McRae, Betty
Carter, and Abbey Lincoln among her many supporters.

In the South Florida community, Brenda currently serves on the Board of
Directors the Sunshine Jazz Organization and the Miami Jazz Co-op, and she
works with various community projects and organizations. She recently created
and implemented a successful jazz/arts education initiative, “What A Wonderful
World,” for local elementary school students. She is also working on two
recording projects to be released by the fall of this year.
 

 

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