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Jazz Vocalist MJ Territo Honors the "Unsung" Women of Jazz
(Published: August 13, 2012)

Yonkers, NY—Ask any jazz lover about female jazz greats and they'd quickly be able to name singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Lena Horne. But what about other women who've written or arranged music widely acknowledged as jazz classics? Outside of connoisseurs, few are familiar with the pioneering work of women such as Melba Liston, Marian McPartland, Fran Landesman, and even the behind-the-scene accomplishments of Peggy Lee.

MJ Territo wants to change that.

Acclaimed jazz vocalist Territo, along with pianist Linda Presgrave and bassist Iris Ornig, make up Ladies Day, a jazz trio created to celebrate and honor women jazz composers and lyricists. The trio will be performing in New York City on August 22.

"While excellent female musicians, especially instrumentalists, are increasingly visible on the jazz scene, their equally excellent compositions are not as widely known," says Territo, the group's founder. "So few people know the invaluable contributions these groundbreaking women made to the jazz repertoire. Ladies Day honors these amazing women and their work."

Territo points out that these celebrated women have made critical contributions to jazz. In a field dominated by men, Melba Liston became a significant jazz arranger, working with iconic bands such as Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Quincy Jones. Pianist and composer Marian McPartland created National Public Radio's "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," one of the longest running jazz programs ever produced on public radio. Lyricist Fran Landesman's song, "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men" is a jazz standard, and has been recorded by a wide range of performers, including Roberta Flack, Petula Clark, and Rickie Lee Jones.  And while Peggy Lee is regarded as one of the most influential jazz vocalists of her time, she penned more than100 songs, including some with jazz greats Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer.

Ladies Day will celebrate these musicians by playing a selection of their songs at a performance at the SOMETHIN' Jazz Club in New York on Aug. 22 from 7:00 - 8:45 pm. The trio will also perform their own original compositions and collaborations.

The SOMETHIN' Jazz Club is located at 212 E. 52d Street 3Fl. (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues). There is a $10 cover charge and a $10 minimum.

For more information about Ladies Day, contact MJ Territo, mj@mjterrito.com or 914-318-6667.

About Ladies Day

Ladies Day is a jazz trio made up of MJ Territo, Linda Presgrave, and Iris Ornig.

Jazz singer and lyricist MJ Territo performs regularly in clubs and other venues throughout the tri-state area. With a strong background in writing and theatre, MJ is a true storyteller who performs and writes songs with memorable melodies and life lessons. As a lyricist, MJ collaborates frequently with composers and pens words for instrumental jazz standards. In 2010 MJ independently released her first CD, Down With Love.

Linda Presgrave is a jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. On her latest CD, Inspiration (Metropolitan Records), Linda continues her exploration of compositions by jazz artists "who happen to be women." 

Bassist Iris Ornig is also a composer. A native of Germany, Iris can be heard at many of New York City's top jazz clubs, and at jazz festivals throughout the world. Her new CD, No Restrictions, will be released in September.

More Information: http://mjterrito.com

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