Rebecca Hardiman-Jazz Vocalist
Vocal jazz the way it used to be...Pure straight ahead swing reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, June Christy and Anita O'Day. Classic jazz - with dignity - That's what you get with Rebecca Hardiman.
Rebecca Hardiman - Jazz Vocalist
“Not since Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald have I heard such a unique, in tune, magical, hypnotic, creative JAZZ performer.” Dan Sorkin- veteran radio personality Chicago WCFL, San Francisco KSFO
From the moment Rebecca Hardiman walks onto the stage - her tone, sense of style, dignified delivery and cheery disposition lights up the room. True lovers of jazz recognize that she is authentic and a welcome asset to world of vocal jazz. Rebecca owns the songs that she sings and brings her creative energy to every interpretation from ballads to highly technical be-bop improvisation. Her inventive scatting and stylization has earned her the reputation as one of the best jazz vocalists in the NW.
Links to Audio
Listen to examples of Rebecca’s singing below. A complete CD is available upon request.
Rebecca started her career training at Edmonds College under the direction of notable vocal jazz educator Frank DeMiero in “Soundsation” from 1984-86. During her time there she was quickly noticed by the nationally recognized vocal jazz group “The Ritz” and was asked to join them in 1986, recording and touring across the country.
In 1992, she started the Portland based vocal jazz group "Euphoria" which performed for 10 years in the Pacific Northwest - and was the opening group for Mel Torme' when he appeared at The Eugene Hult Center in 1993.
In 2013 she embarked on her solo career and quickly became noticed as a leading improviser and interpreter of the jazz classics. With the release of her latest CD “Easy Living” she is getting airplay on radio stations around the country and is expanding her musical horizons beyond the NW.
From the first notes of this CD’s opener, “Thou
Swell,” it is obvious that Rebecca Hardiman is a superior jazz
singer. She has a clear and very appealing tone, it is very easy to
understand every word that she interprets, and her singing is full
of joy. In addition, she swings at all tempos and is a very good
scat singer. There are times when she sounds a little bit like early
Nancy Wilson but she is a more adventurous and harder-swinging
vocalist If I had to come up with a criticism about her singing, I
would be at a loss for words.
On Easy Living, Rebecca Hardiman is joined by some of the top straight ahead jazz musicians from the Pacific Northwest. Her husband Ray Hardiman is a perfect accompanist and a strong soloist, bassist Dan Presley and drummer Ron Steen provide tasteful support and there are plenty of colorful bop-oriented solos taken along the way by trumpeter/flugelhornist Bryant Allard and saxophonist/clarinetist Laird Halling.
After the exciting version of “Thou Swell” which includes a hot trumpet-alto tradeoff and a fine piano solo, “Give Me The Simple Life” is given an exuberant treatment, highlighted by Ms. Hardiman’s exchange of phrases with trumpeter Allard. Her medium-tempo version of “Easy Living” could be used in a classroom to teach other singers how to make a ballad their own. When she changes the notes of a melody, it adds to the emotional effect and the general excitement.
Each of the 14 songs other than “Harold’s House Of Jazz” (which is based on “Cherokee”) are veteran standards. All benefit from these treatments. Among the other highlights are one of the finest versions of Gil Evans’ “Boplicity” ever recorded (the scat-singing is inspired yet sounds effortless), the revival of “Harold House of Jazz” (which was recorded previously by Richie Cole), a swinging “Put on a Happy Face” and a jubilant “They All Laughed.”
Rebecca Hardiman’s Easy Living is one of the most delightful jazz vocal albums of the past year and is highly recommended. Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76
Back in the 1990s, Portland area jazz folks took a lot of pride in a vocal group called Euphoria. They were all very hip and accomplished jazz singers, and their arrangements were second to none. One of those singers was Rebecca Hardiman who eventually went solo. Her brand new CD shows her to be very comfortable with her choice of standout tunes.
As any real jazz singer should do, Hardiman delivers 14 tunes without pretense or too much frosting on the cake. She scats with ease and perfect clarity. Just check out the challenging “Boplicity” for proof. In that same realm is “Harold’s House Of Jazz”, a Richie Cole rarity that strikes a tempo fast enough to test any singer. Hardiman passes with flying colors. Among the other dozen tunes, all of which are winners, there’s “Thou Swell,” “Mountain Greenery,” “I Wished on the Moon,” “They All Laughed,” and more. Hardiman is accompanied by her husband, Ray Hardiman on piano; Dan Presley, bass; Ron Steen, drums; and special kudos to Bryant Allard on trumpet and flugelhorn and to Laird Halling on sax and clarinet.
A measuring stick for singers (in my opinion at least) is their ability to sound like it’s all so easy when we know it’s anything but ! Rebecca Hardiman is such a singer, and you’re going to love her new album. George Fendel, CD Reviewer for JazzScene Magazine
"There is a reality and purity in Rebecca's voice, no
gimmicks; the way jazz vocalists used to be..."
Art Abrams-Band Leader “Art Abrams Swing Machine”
"When I heard Rebecca singing, I thought..."Ella's back."
Meadowlark Lemon - Former Harlem Globetrotter/Inspirational Speaker
North Sea Jazz Festival
JVC Montreux Jazz Festival
With The Ritz:
Montreal Jazz Festival
Colorado State University
Ryle’s Jazz Club
Hult Center for the Performing Arts with Mel Torme’
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
Corvallis Fall Festival
Oregon Jazz Society “First Jazz”
Portland University Club
Alison Spa and Resort
Arrivederci’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar
Aurora Colony Vineyards
St. Thomas Jazz Festival
2015, 2016 Aurora Colony Vineyards Jazz Festival
2016 PDX Jazz Festival
1984 “Soundsation ‘84”
1985 “Soundsation ‘85”
1986 “Soundsation ‘86”
Back-up vocal for Commercial for Barbizon Modeling School
1987 “The Ritz” Denon Columbia
Recently re-released as part of the "Giants in Vocal Jazz"
available at: Amazon.com
1994 “Euphoria” with Euphoria Vocal Jazz
“Anytime, Anywhere” Solo
1996 “Swing Into Christmas” Solo
1998 “Euphoria Live” with Euphoria Vocal Jazz
2009 “My Father’s Business” Solo with Big Band
2013 “I’ll Remember April” Solo
2015 “Easy Living” Solo
2015 “Cry Me A River” Solo single with Tom Grant
Rebecca Hardiman was immersed in jazz at an early age, as she heard recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Bill Eckstine, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Dexter Gordon around the house. As a teenager, she was accepted into the highly acclaimed vocal jazz group Soundsation in Seattle under the direction of jazz educator Frank DeMiero, and while with this group, had the opportunity to perform in concerts and festivals with Ernestine Anderson, Mark Murphy, The Hi-Los, Richie Cole, and The Four Freshman. Soundsation toured throughout Europe performing at notable international festivals such as the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals as well as local jazz clubs.
She started her professional career with the Boston based vocal jazz group The Ritz in 1986. They performed at the 1987 Montreal Jazz Festival as well as jazz clubs throughout the country, and recorded on the Denon Columbia recording “The Ritz” and features Count Basie saxophonist Frank Wess. Rebecca moved to Portland Oregon in 1990 and started the vocal jazz group Euphoria, performing at venues throughout the northwest for ten years, most notably opening for Mel Torme’ in 1993 at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon.
In 2013 she embarked on a solo career releasing a CD entitled “I’ll
Remember April”. She was quickly accepted by the local music
community and has been performing regularly at all of the major jazz
venues in the area. In 2015 she recorded “Easy Living” which has been
highly praised by listeners and reviewers alike.