Jazz vocalist Carol Sloane’s appearance at the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival introduced her to an international audience
Jazz vocalist Carol Sloane grew up in Smithfield and began her professional career in 1951 singing with Rhode Island society band leader Ed Drew. She first gained national attention in the late 1950s when she joined the orchestra of Larry Elgart with whom with she recorded for RCA Victor. In 1961, Jon Hendricks of the legendary vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, who had become a fan of Carol’s after hearing her at a jazz festival, helped her secure her first booking at The Village Vanguard opening for Oscar Peterson. He next convinved the producers of the Newport Jazz Festival to include her in their “New Stars” program that summer, a showcase for emerging talent.
She garnered rave reviews for her performance and was heard by a representative of Columbia records. Columbia signed her and she recorded an album a few months later. Released in 1962, Out Of The Blue was unanimously praised by the press and launched her on a solo career which has continued for nearly six decades.
She has recorded more than two dozen critically acclaimed, internationally released albums as a leader in the company of dozens of jazz legends and giants including Clark Terry, Tommy Flanagan, Bob Brookmeyer, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Sir Roland Hanna, Ben Webster and Phil Woods, just to name a few, and continues to perform. In a 2007 review of her album “Dearest Duke,” Matt Schudel of The Washington Post wrote, “If Carol Sloane isn’t America’s greatest living jazz singer, then no one deserves the title.”