Jan Shapiro

Jan Shapiro, a popular pop and jazz vocalist, began her music studies at the Saint Louis Institute of Music and continued by earning her Bachelor’s degree, graduating cum laude from Howard University, Washington, DC, and completing a master’s degree at Cambridge College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

As a musician, Jan has developed competence as a vocalist, flautist, electric bass, piano and keyboards as well as percussion. She is versatile in style, singing jazz, soft-rock, pop, blues, and ballads with equal elan.

As a songwriter, she has written and collaborated in writing some of the
songs she performs. In addition, she composed the score of “Tales of Toyland,” a children’s production of Bob Kramer’s Marionettes of Saint Louis, which toured nationally.

As a recording artist, she was the featured guest artist with the Airmen of Note, the official Jazz Ensemble of the United States Air Force, on a recording with international distribution.

Jan was formerly a faculty member of the Voice Department at Fontbonne College, Saint Louis, Missouri and in the Jazz Studies Department at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois. She presently holds the position of Voice Department Chair at Berklee College of Music. She has presented vocal clinics around the country, including the International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences, and adjudicated high school jazz choirs in the New England area.

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Helen Forrest

When Helen Forrest joined the Harry James band in 1941, she broke new ground for American vocalists. She asked that specific arrangements be written just for her and that the band accompany her lead vocal. Harry James agreed, and Forrest went on to record five gold records: “But Not for Me,” “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You,” “I Cried For You,” “I’ve Heard That Song Before,” and “I Had the Craziest Dream.”

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jan Shapiro." (Viewed on March 4, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/shapiro-jan>.


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