Linda is an accomplished performer who made her entrance onto the jazz stage with a flourish and has performed at many Chicago area venues including Katerina’s, Pop’s for Champagne, Andy’s Jazz Club, The Green Mill, Toulouse Cognac Bar, Pete Miller’s Steak House, Chambers, The Bop Shop, O’Brien’s Restaurant and Bar, Shuba’s, Border’s Book Stores, Catch 35 Restaurant, the summer music festival at Unity in Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center LunchBreak Jazz Cafe series, SummerDance, and The Metropole Room of the Fairmont Hotel.
In southern California, her performances have included the La Quinta Museum music series, Palm Desert Public Library music series, Trump Casino, Vicky’s of Santa Fe, The Backstreet Bistro, Mel Torme’s, Jazz on the Green, and Lyon’s English Grille.
She has performed at the Cellar Wine & Martini Bar in Waterloo, Iowa and in concert at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center.
While overseas, she performed with the Curtis Robinson Quartet in Singapore, the Marek Smaus Quartet in Prague and has performed for very receptive audiences at the JZ Club in Shanghai and at La Zorra y La Cueva Jazz Club in Havana.
She also performs for private and corporate events for clients, such as Toshiba International Corporation, in musical ensembles ranging from duos to big bands.
In 2008, she was recognized as one of the top jazz singers in “The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide” by Scott Yanow.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Linda’s early musical experiences were shaped by her African-American heritage and her parents’ love of jazz. Her father’s huge record collection included a veritable jazz cornucopia of legends like Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstein, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald. As they were so much a part of her parents’ life, these popular performers of the day influenced her young life. Her parents’ social life included formal parties where the popular big bands of the day used to perform. As a family they regularly attended musical theater and Hollywood musicals at the movies.
She studied piano throughout her childhood, and as a teenager, she performed as a folk singer accompanying herself on guitar. Later, Linda went on to study music at Roosevelt University, earning her bachelor’s degree in music composition, where she studied composition with Robert Lombardo and commercial arranging with Richard Manners. Continuing her musical studies at DePaul University, she earned a master’s degree in jazz studies/vocal performance, studying orchestration and commercial arranging with Cliff Colnot. After receiving her master’s degree, she completed a year-long course in vocal pedagogy at Northeastern Illinois University and more recently has studied songwriting, electronic music production, and midi orchestration at Berklee College of Music.
In addition to performing, Linda is a recording artist, songwriter, composer, and educator with five recording projects to her credit. Her debut CD on Southport Records, We Belong Together, is a very personal collection of songs that includes classic jazz masters and popular musical theater composers as well as the sultry Brazilian strains of Milton Nascimento and contemporary composers like Chick Corea.
Her second CD on Southport Records, Time, Seasons and the Moon, was released in September, 2000 to critical acclaim. This mature collection features songs which are varied in musical timbre and arrangement winding through themes of time, seasons and the moon. She is accompanied by well-known musicians such as the late violinist, Johnny Frigo, Richie Fudoli, Paulinho Garcia, and Curtis Robinson.
In October of 2003, she released her third CD on Southport Records, We Speak Duke, to an enthusiastic audience at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theatre. “We Speak Duke” is a magical journey into the music and essence of jazz master, Duke Ellington. With stunning arrangements by Chicago pianist/arranger, Bradley Williams and realized in the studio by his Original 21st Century Review, the album is a delicious epic with multiple singers and horns carrying the weight of traditional swing into the new century.
Her recent album, Geography, released in January of 2013 on her own independent label, was inspired by global travel and is the first recorded collection of her original songs. This memorable album features Linda’s vocals along with her lyrics, music, and arrangements and she is accompanied by top-tier jazz musicians including Ernie Adams and Charles Rick Heath IV on drums and percussion, Steve Eisen on flute, tenor saxophone, and congas, Larry Gray on acoustic bass and cello, Marlene Rosenberg on acoustic bass, Curtis Robinson on acoustic and electric guitars and vocals, Preyas Roy on vibraphone, and Bobby Schiff on piano. During the course of producing the album, Linda launched a successful Kickstarter Campaign to help fund her project.
An expansion of her compositional portfolio, a new work, Map of the Heart, is a collection of her original songs arranged for voice, string quartet, wind instruments, and percussion.
She has produced three music videos, which can be viewed on her YouTube Channel. Using her original songs for the soundtrack, Cuando Tendremos Paz, 2012, features Chicago community murals. Geography, 2013, features choreography with Lincoln Park in Chicago as the landscape, and Bumble Bee, 2014, features animation by two Chicago artists.
As a songwriter and composer, she has been the recipient of numerous Creative Project and Professional Development Grants from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council.
As an educator, Linda has taught voice and musicianship to adults at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and in her private studio. Additionally, she has created and presented workshops to vocal music educators on teaching jazz voice.
Linda believes in Making A Difference with her music, and beginning with the release of her new album, has committed to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of every physical CD or digital album download to Reading In Motion, a stellar Chicago non-profit organization which has developed a successful arts-based curriculum to teach reading to at-risk primary grade students.