Linear Notes from Don't Look Back “From the opening track’s impact, she is a knock out – a rare treat and an absolute sensation, who grabs the whole of each tune, extracts its essence and negotiates it into a moving story of human interfaces. She instantly communicates via her seductive individualized sound and articulation of lyric. Born to sing as a “musicians’ singer”, she invites her listeners into her passion of flaming fire to toasty warmth and from purrs and whispers to shouts and wails.
Jane has been singing for a long time (since age five). Her track record as an excellent tap dancer and thespian includes her singing different styles early on. Her development reveals a persistent profile of growth in her singing, reflecting her joy and focus on teaching and learning increments.” -Dr. Herb Wong
Song selections for Don't Look Back include rarely heard gems, Cole Porter's Experiment, Johnny Mandel’s title cut, a soulful I’ll Follow The Sun and a gorgeous ballad Let It Come To You, an original by Jane. Most of the arranging is a collaboration of Jane with Rave Tesar. The terrific cast of players includes guest soloist Dick Oatts on alto and flute (also arranger on Experiment), Dave Stryker on guitar plus stellar support from the rhythm section, some of her favorite players that graced her last recording: pianist and co-producer Rave Tesar, bassists Sue Williams and Kermit Driscoll, tenor saxophonist Frank Elmo and drummer/husband Rick De Kovessey, in addition to percussionist Emedin Rivera.
Jane Stuart started her singing career at age 5, on a local TV show, “Moser Starlites”. Her song was, “Me And My Teddy Bear”. As a child she studied ballet at Ballet Arts in Carnegie Hall, acting with Eleanor Raab and Jim Tuttle and singing with Sue Seton and in later years Don Lawrence. Her great love of dance, especially tap, lead her to study at Charlie Lowe’s School of Tap and Personality in NYC, alongside, Christopher Walken, Alan Paul (Manhattan Transfer), David Winters (West Side Story) and Jeff Conaway. In later years Jane attributes her tap dancing skills to be the start of her understanding of jazz.
Jane was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J. and then grew up in New York City. Jane attended high school at Quintano’s School For Young Professionals in New York City alongside friends and classmates, Bernadette Peters, Greg Hines, Bonnie Bedelia, Michele Conaway, Z (formerly known as Bruce Scott) and Patty Duke.
Jane’s Off-Broadway debut was in “Curley McDimple”, a parody of the Shirley Temple movies. Jane played the comedic role of the mean Miss Hamilton, (a montage of the many characters played by the great actress, Margaret Hamilton). She played this role for 3 years at the Burt Wheeler Theatre and then The Plaza 9 Theatre. Jane’s reviews were outstanding as she sang, tap danced and acted with the legendary Butterfly McQueen in this production. As a result of Jane’s fond memories of her experience working with Ms. McQueen, she was invited to contribute to Stephen Bourne’s book, “Butterfly McQueen Remembered”. Another great memory of this show was when Ms. Margaret Hamilton attended her performance and gave it her blessing. Margaret loved Jane’s portrayal.
Jane shared the stage with Richard Gere, Jessica Harper and the late Vicki Sue Robinson (Turn The Beat Around) in “A Long Time Comin’ A Long Time Gone” written by Richard Farina. Jane’s portrayal of Joan Baez (Richard Farina’s sister- in-law) was another dramatic success for her. Her reviews were outstanding.
Jane was featured in an innovative jazz musical, “Sambo”, written by Ron Steward, for Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Theatre. This show was a part of the Jazz Mobile Theater that performed throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The all star orchestra featured many legendary jazz musicians such as, Woody Shaw, Hal Vick and Freddie Waites to name a few.
In addition to stage appearances, some of Jane’s recording career consists of singing solo and background for National commercials. A few of her most popular “jingles” for TV and radio are: Bain de Soleil, Chevrolet’s “Heartbeat Of America”, Freedent Gum, Hawaiian Punch, and Stetson Cologne. Many of these were sung in groups consisting of Jane with Valerie Simpson, Patti Austin, Leslie Miller, Shawn Colvin and Vivian Cherry. Jane also sang on “Could It Be Magic” from Barry Manilow’s first album.
One of Jane’s favorite performances, to be added to the list of many clubs and concert halls, was when she was part of the opening act for the great Sid Caesar at the renowned Rainbow Room in New York City. This act was comprised of
Kathe Green (daughter of composer Johnny Green) and Grammy winner K.T.Oslin.
Jane Stuart’s debut CD, “Beginning To See The Light” received the very prestigious Blue Chip Award for “Best Jazz Vocals”, presented by Dr. Herb Wong for the International Association of Jazz Educators. She received accolades from jazz writers, reviewers and the general jazz community for this CD, her first effort as leader, producer and arranger with co-producer Rave Tesar.
Most recently Jane Stuart has performed with her band at premier jazz venues and concert stages such as: Shanghai Jazz, Trumpets, OSPAC Jazz Festival, Oakeside Cultural Center, The Baird Jazz Series, Reeves and Reeds Arboretum, 46 Lounge, Enzo’s, Winberie’s Café, YMHA Wayne Theatre, Montclair Center Stage, Jazzberry Patch, Hibiscus, The Iguana Lounge, Miles Café, The Kitano and regularly at The New Leaf (in The Cloisters) in NYC.
One of Jane’s exciting presentations is her show entitled, “B’Way All Jazzed Up”. This program has been performed for SRO audiences in the NY/NJ area.
Some of the remarkable and celebrated musicians and performers that Jane has worked with are: Thad Jones, Roland Hanna, Jon Faddis, George Mraz, Mel Lewis, Charlie Smalls (composer of “The Wiz”), Kenny Rankin, Lou Gossett Jr., Danny Aiello, Robert Klein, Freddie Prinze, Gerry Neiwood, Dick Oatts, Keith O’Quinn, Ed Palermo, Mark Pender, Emedin Rivera, Gradie Stone, Dave Stryker, Vic Juris, Bob De Vos, Bill Warfield, Alan Won, Sue Williams, Kermit Driscoll, Frank Weber, Jimmie Young, Kent Smith, Vinnie Cutro, Frank Elmo, Ted Brancato, Walt Weiskopf, Gary Keller, Rick De Kovessey, Rave Tesar, Bill Tesar, Lenny Argese, Charlie Descarfino, Mark Lambert, Gary Dial, Scott Healy (Conan O’Brian show), Andy Fusco, Bobby Harden, and many others.
In addition, Jane Stuart:
• Teaches vocal technique and performance in the New Jersey area
• Is the featured vocalist with “Reflections”, a 19 piece jazz/swing orchestra performing in the NY State area
• Is leader and vocalist with her 7 piece band “Airtight” at many private and special events
• Sings and plays percussion with The Arthur Miller Band in the NY/NJ area