Jackie Allen is a jazz vocalist, recording artist, teacher, songwriter, mother, and wife (and avid cook and gardener).
Jackie Allen Bio
Jackie’s vocal talent has taken her on multiple tours of Europe, Africa, Brazil and China. Nationally she has toured both coasts and in-between. While living and working in Chicago, she was a featured artist with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in Millennium Park, to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s 95 birthday. In her home town, Lincoln, NE she received the 2018 Mayor’s Arts Award in Artistic Achievement in Vocal Performance.
“Allen’s greatest strength is her sheer musicality and the way she frames and interprets songs.” -Los Angeles Times
Born in Milwaukee, WI, Jackie was surrounded by music while her father Louis E. (Gene) Allen was a Dixieland jazz tuba player. She played French horn through high school. She later attended U.W. Madison studying Applied Voice and Jazz with NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis. In the late 80s she worked in Milwaukee with pianist/organist Melvin Rhyne (Wes Montgomery Trio) and taught jazz voice at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music for 3 years before moving to Chicago where she began her recording career with labels Blue Note Records, Naxos Jazz, Lake Shore Jazz, A440 Music and others. Jackie worked with “Chicago's First Lady of Jazz” pianist/vocalist Judy Roberts, performing regularly for 3 years and recording 2 CDs, Santa Baby(2000) and Autumn Leaves(2002). Her own combo recorded The Men In My Life (2003), Love Is Blue (2004) and Tangled (2006). Her Starry Night (2009) CD was recorded live with chamber orchestra. My Favorite Color(2014) made USAToday’s Top 10 List. Her 12thalbum, Rose Fingered Dawn(2017) is a collection of original songs by husband, bassist Hans Sturm.
“This is four-hundred-dollar-a-bottle jazz – no cheap imitation.”– Rolling Stone
Jackie has held teaching positions at Roosevelt University in Chicago and Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL., and Ball State University, Muncie, IN. She has served on the Board of Governors and Jazz Nominating Committee for the Grammy Awards. She teaches Jazz Voice and Songwriting at Doane University in Crete, NE and in Lincoln, instructs her adult primer course, “Torch Singer 101.” Jackie lives in Lincoln with husband and son, Wolfgang.