The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) today announces the appointment of vocalist Carmen Bradford to its Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM) faculty. Bradford, who will begin teaching in Fall 2018, will be the first vocalist to join the RJAM faculty since the program launched in Fall 2017. Currently comprised of students studying bass, drums, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, vibraphone, and composition, RJAM will add voice to its list of disciplines next year as Bradford will be the program’s first faculty member specializing in jazz vocals.
“We are thrilled to welcome Carmen Bradford to the SFCM fold,” says RJAM Executive Director Simon Rowe. “Carmen, having had long associations with icons such as Count Basie and Nancy Wilson, is the rare example of a jazz artist at the top of her field who, in turn, is choosing to mentor the students following in her footsteps. Her joy, artistry, and passion will inspire us all—faculty and students alike!”
“I am deeply honored and excited to be a part of the RJAM/SFCM family,” says Carmen Bradford. “Time to sing . . . time to swing!”
Discovered early on by William “Count” Basie, Bradford has performed and/or recorded with a host of eminent artists and ensembles including Wynton Marsalis, John Clayton and the Clayton Hamilton Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Patti Austin, Byron Stripling, Dori Caymmi, George Benson, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, National Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Dani Felber Big Band, Dallas Symphony, Oklahoma Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, and countless others around the world. Bradford performed on two Grammy Award-winning albums with the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1980s and later collaborated on a third Grammy Award-winning album, “Big Boss Band,” with guitarist George Benson in 1991. She has also performed on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Bradford has also performed in stage productions and her voice has been featured in the music of Hollywood films. She sang on the soundtrack for Oprah Winfrey’s Beloved, and recently starred in the title role of Duke Ellington’s folk opera, Queenie Pie, at the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music.
Bradford can most recently be heard on Darren English’s new critically acclaimed album Imagination Nation on Hot Shoe Records. The 2015 release John Mills — Invisible Design also features Bradford in multiple forms of jazz including fusion, blues, and straight ahead jazz.