Jazz singer Marion Cowings is a native New Yorker and master of scat and vocal technique. Marion attended Music and Art, now known as LaGuardia High School, where he was chosen to perform as a solo vocalist with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.
While still in high school Cowings’ first professional engagement was at the Randall’s Island Jazz Festival with “Little Pony” Poindextor and the Ike Isaac’s Trio. During this time Marion began to understudy with Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert and Ross. Eventually Marion became Lambert’s original replacement and was then mentored by Jon Hendricks.
In 1984, after leading rhythm & blues and rock bands, Cowings teamed up with jazz vocalist Kim Kalesti. Together they performed hundreds of concerts and recorded several albums. They also founded the Vocal Jazz Department at New York University and were adjunct professors for eleven years. Marion’s smooth baritone voice and considerable range have been delighting audiences around the world for decades. He has performed at the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Blue Note, Village Vanguard and many prestigious venues abroad. He is also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and Clio Award.
“Cowings had an ambitious, engaging and polished presentation”
– John Wilson, N.Y. Times
“…Incredibly smooth and gorgeous baritone voice”
– New York Post
“He can do everything I can do…”
– Jon Hendricks (On the Charlie Rose show)
“He’s the real thing”
– Margaret Whiting (Co-star Harry Warren tribute at the 92nd Street Y)
“He’s the singer’s singer…”
– Hank Jones, Pianist
“He’s a bad MF”
– Harry Connick Jr., Singer
“He sings with the perfect combination of sadness and hope…”
– Ira Gitler, American Jazz Historian and Journalist
“…Cowings can transform even the tiniest of Tin Pan Alley lyric into vocal gold.
His articulation is clear enough to please any lyricist who takes pride in his work…”
– Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant
“Marion Cowings voice was full of rich textures imaginatively applied“
– Stuart Troup, N.Y. Newsday
“…Marion Cowings is as a horn…giving voice to flowing sax-like legato”
– The Washington Post
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