Critically acclaimed vocalist, songwriter, educator, Jackie Allen released her 10th CD, My Favorite Color, in early 2014. Her first studio album in 7 years, MFC features her long-time band and is produced by her bassist husband, Hans Sturm. Her last release, Starry Night (‘09) was recorded live with chamber orchestra and features star-themed songs penned by arrangers who have written for such legends and noted artists as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Doc Severinsen, and Bobby McFerrin.
Described as “utterly distinctive and even innovative” by Billboard Magazine, Jackie is renown for her transcendent interpretations. Her extraordinary talent has taken her on multiple tours of Europe, Morocco, Brazil, China and Taiwan. Nationally she has toured both coasts and in-between appearing in Los Angeles at Catalina’s, San Francisco at Yoshi’s, San Diego at Humphrey's, and New York City at The Blue Note and The Josef Papp Public Theater. She was featured artist with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in Chicago’s Millennium Park and Auditorium Theater for Ella Fitzgerald’s 95 Birthday Celebration. She has performed international festivals in Detroit, Chicago, Paris, The Hague, Stuttgart, Edinburgh, Bologna, Beijing, Hong Kong, Thessaloniki, Sao Paulo and more. Regionally, she has appeared in Denver, Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Omaha and Chicago.
A respected jazz educator, Allen teaches at Doane College, NE and has taught at University Nebraska, Lincoln, Ball State University (IN), Roosevelt University, Elmhurst College (IL) and The Old Town School Of Folk Music, Chicago.
Born in Milwaukee, WI Jackie grew up in McFarland, a suburb of Madison, WI. She was surrounded by music, her father Louis (Gene), a Dixieland jazz tuba player. Jackie and her four siblings played brass instruments as well, Jackie choosing the French horn. She attended U.W. Madison studying Vocal Performance and Jazz. In the late 80s, Jackie moved to Milwaukee and met pianist/organist Melvin Rhyne (Wes Montgomery) and worked together 4 years before moving to Chicago. There she began her recording career, recording for labels Lake Shore Jazz, Naxos Jazz, A440, Red Mark, Blue Note Records and others. Jackie met “Chicago’s First Lady of Jazz” pianist/vocalist Judy Roberts and began a long musical relationship recording two CDs, Santa Baby and Autumn Leaves. Jackie and her own combo recorded 3 critically acclaimed CDs for A440 and Blue Note, The Men In My Life (2003), Love Is Blue (2004) and Tangled (2006). Jackie has served multiple terms on the Board of Governors and Jazz Nominating Committee for the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards).
Jackie moved to Lincoln Nebraska in 2011 with her bassist husband Hans Sturm and their son Wolfgang.