||Jazz has been
a lifelong passion for Carol Heffler. Born in Sandy
Spring, MD, Carol grew up in Summit, New Jersey.
She sang in several choirs and began studying jazz piano
at the age of 15. After earning a B.A. in Music
from Hood College, Carol began graduate school at UMichigan,
where she formed her first trio and played the club scene
in Ann Arbor.
When she moved to Boston, Carol performed with her newly
formed jazz quintet. She earned a Masters
in Music degree at UMass Amherst, where she studied Voice
with Dorothy Ornest and Horace Boyer, and was awarded
"Best Female Jazz Vocalist" by the International
Association of Jazz Educators. Carol's Masters thesis,
"The Vocal Jazz Style of Eddie Jefferson", became
an article and solo transcription in Jazz Magazine.
Her group opened for the Mercer Ellington and Woody Herman
orchestras, as well as appearing on Hartford CT
In New York City, Carol performed and collaborated with
Marilyn Harris, an established song and jingle writer.
She sang commercials for Nestea, Nestles, Impulse perfume,
and Dimension shampoo. In 1981, her song "Strong
Steady Love" was published by Shapiro and Bernstein
and recorded by the Markley Band on Accord Records.
Carol's first recording of original songs and jazz, "Sea
Dreams", was released in 1993. In 1998, she
produced her first CD "Pull of the Moon, joined by
a jazz quartet featuring pianist John Bianculli.
This recording was a combination of original songs and
covers by artists such as James Taylor, Sade, and Leon
The Carol Heffler Quintet, formed in November, 2002, features
Carol on vocals, John Bianculli on piano (Steve Nelson,
Cassandra Wilson), Angelo DiBraccio (Roberta Flack, Kenny
Barron) on saxophones, Steve Varner on bass (Pat Martino,
Phil Woods), and Dave Mohn on drums (George Duke, Richie
Cole). The Carol Heffler Quintet has performed at
such New Jersey venues as the Red Bank Blues and Jazz
Festival, Nassau Park Pavillion, and Lambertville Station.
She has also performed at Cornelia Street Café
(NYC), Chez Suzette (NYC), Odette's (New Hope PA), and
Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton NJ).
Carol's new CD "Exactly" (Peeka Records) is
due to be released in February 2005. It features
the quintet performing three of her new songs plus unique
arrangements of standards such as "My Foolish Heart",
"Willow Weep for Me", and "Lullaby of Birdland".
Carol Heffler is an active member of the Jazz Vocal Coalition
and the International Association of Jazz Educators.