Faculty member sings on grammy nominated jazz album
PHILADELPHIA, January 14, 2011 —Anne Sciolla, a voice instructor at the College, is a backup singer on Joey DeFrancesco’s “Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson,”which is nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards to be aired at 8 p.m., E.T. on Feb. 13.
DeFrancesco, the son of local jazz organ maestro “Papa” John DeFrancesco, plays the organ with a blistering style that blends pop, funk, blues, soul and jazz. His Grammy-nominated album pays homage to the late King of Pop’s greatest hits, including “Thriller,” “Human Nature”and “She’s Out of My Life.”
Sciolla and Samantha Aurielo, one of her students, provide backup vocals behind DeFrancesco on “The Way You Make Me Feel.” In addition to teaching at the College, Sciolla is an adjunct assistant professor of voice at the University of the Arts School of Music, where Aurelio is a student.
Known as the “ultimate cross-over singer,” who swings easily between classical and jazz, Sciolla has performed in the past with both DeFrancescos. She also has performed with Jimmy Bruno, Kevin Eubanks, Bob Berg, Uri Caine, Diane Monroe, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Randy Brecker, Felix Cavaliere, the Relache Ensemble and at the Jazz Educators Conference.
Sciolla’s own recordings include her 1998 debut album “Jerome Kern: Lost Treasures,” which she recorded on Centaur Records with fellow College faculty member Brian Kovach. The album premiered Kern’s earliest compositions and was described as a “total delight” by Billboard Magazine. She is currently working on her second album, “Diva Free Zone,” a selection of jazz classics.
While this is Joey DeFrancesco’s second Grammy nomination, it is the first time Sciolla has been associated with a Grammy-nominated project. “This is a really big deal for a musician. It’s Joey’s album, but if he wins every one participating in the project will get a career boost,” Sciolla said.
This will be Sciolla’s third time attending the Grammy ceremony. Previously, she ushered VIPs as a volunteer member of the board of governors for the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. This February, she and Aurelio will walk the red carpet to take their seats with the DeFrancesco family.
Other contenders for Best Contemporary Jazz Album are: University of the Arts School of Music alumnus Stanley Clarke’s “The Stanley Clarke Band”, Jeff Lorber Fusion’s “Now Is The Time,” John McLaughlin’s “To The One” and “Backatown” by Trombone Shorty.
Sciolla has a bachelor’s degree in Music Voice Performance from Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (now the University of the Arts) and a master’s degree in Voice Performance from West Chester University.