"In sassy, solidly assured, crowd-pleasing form, a whole lot of interpretive brilliance." —JazzTimes
When a celebration is called for, Clairdee often gets the call. The vivacious San Francisco-based jazz vocalist inaugurated the beautiful new North Beach nightspot Keys Jazz Bistro in November 2022, turning an anticipated event into a glorious consecration.
In a career spanning some four decades, she's performed similar benedictions around the world as an internationally touring artist who's collaborated with some of America's most celebrated jazz masters, including Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Houston Person, Cyrus Chestnut, Russell Malone, and Ken Peplowski.
Deeply informed by the music's departed masters, Clairdee puts a personal stamp on whatever she sings, a gift aptly described by the inimitable Nancy Wilson, who declared that "in the tradition of all great vocalists she infuses each song with her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself." Equally at home singing various idioms in an array of settings, Clairdee has worked with symphony orchestras, big bands, small jazz combos, and intimate duos, in addition to leading her own world-class band.
Clairdee’s discography as leader includes four highly regarded albums on her Declare Music label. “A Love Letter to Lena,” garnered international press and was acknowledged in three categories in the 2020 Grammy® first round nominations.
A 2018 recipient of the Bay Area Jazz & Blues Artist Lifetime Achievement Award, Clairdee is a passionate advocate for music education: Professor of Jazz Voice, San Francisco Conservatory of Music; Teaching Artist, SFJAZZ and San Francisco Symphony; Board member, Bay Area Jazz Mobile and Independent Musicians Alliance; Artist Advisory Member and mentor, Jazz in the Neighborhood.
My purpose is to engage, uplift and build community through music — creating narrative that inspires beyond the stage.
“In the tradition of all great vocalists, Clairdee infuses each song with her own unique style while always remaining true to the song itself.”
— Nancy Wilson
"Sumptuous, elegantly restrained."
— The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland)
"Generous spirit and unpretentious sincerity"
— Down Beat
"Clairdee projects an unmistakable aura onstage — regaling the audience with songs interwoven with warm, humorous anecdotes — creating a seamless, wonderful tapestry."
—All About Jazz
“In sassy, solidly assured, crowd-pleasing form, a whole lot of interpretive brilliance."
2020 1st round Grammy® nomination (3 categories), "A Love Letter to Lena"
2018 Bay Area Jazz & Blues Lifetime Achievement
2008 (book) The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide by Scott Yanow
A Love Letter to Lena, Clairdee (Declare Music) 2020
New Holiday Classics, Adrian Cunningham & La Lucha (Arbors) 2020
Jazz Voices of Poetry (JVOP) 2017
Spiritu Sancto, Dimitri Matheny 2007
Music Moves, Clairdee (Declare Music) 2005
Holiday at the Oasis (KUVO Jazz-89 compilation) 2005
This Christmas, Clairdee (Declare Music) 2002
Destination Moon, Clairdee (Declare Music) 2000
West Coast Alternative, Dan Buegeleisen (Corridor) 2000
Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, Dimitri Matheny (Monarch) 1999
Can't Hide Love, John "Buddy" Connor (Seaside/Cat's Paw) 1996
A Piano for All Seasons, Kevin Gibbs (Clarity) 1993
Shine On, Mehler & Nash (Salt Music, Inc) 1993
Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Scotland • Monterey Jazz Festival • Playboy Jazz at the Rose Bowl • Salt Lake City Int'l Jazz Festival • Sarasota Jazz Festival, FL • SFJAZZ Center • Siletz Bay Music Festival, OR • Stanford Jazz Festival • The Jazz Cruise • Blue Note Napa • Catalina's, Hollywood • Dizzy's Coca Cola Club, NYC • Douglas Beach House • Freight & Salvage • Metropolitan Room, NYC • Vitello's Supper Club • Yoshi's • Capitol Center for the Arts, NH • Fitton Center for the Arts, OH • Shedd Institute for the Arts, OR • Spreckels PAC, CA • Staller PAC, NY • Feinstein's at the Nikko, San Francisco • Tempe Center for the Arts, AZ • Tennessee Theatre, TN • Toronto Convention Center, Canada • Venice Institute PAC, FL • Wells Fargo PAC, CA • 3 Japan Tours • 2 Russia Tours
PERFORMED, OPENED, or RECORDED with
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie • Bill Charlap • Billy Higgins • Boz Scaggs • Bucky Pizzarelli • Calvin Keys • Cyrus Chestnut • David Sanborn • Dena DeRose • Dianne Schuur • Dick Hyman • Eddie Henderson • Edward Simon • Houston Person • Ingrid Jensen • John Handy • Katie Thiroux • Ken Peplowski • Kenny Washington (vocalist) • Mads Tolling • Marcus Shelby • Mimi Fox • Nancy Wilson • Regina Carter • Russell Malone • Ruth Davies • Terrell Stafford • Wycliffe Gordon • Capital Jazz Orchestra • Hilton Head Symphony Pops • Knoxville Jazz Orchestra • Novosibirsk Symphony • San Francisco Symphony • Vancouver Symphony • Walla Walla Symphony
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Professor of Jazz Voice
SFJAZZ, teaching artist
Jazz in the Neighborhood,
Artist Advisor & mentor
Bay Area Jazz Mobile,
Independent Musicians Alliance, Board member
Cal State University East Bay, guest artist
Cal State Bakersfield, masterclass
Diablo Valley College, vocal instructor
San Jose State University, guest artist
San Francisco Symphony, teaching artist
Stanford Jazz, Family Matinee
UC Berkeley Jazz Dept, vocal instructor
UC Santa Cruz, guest artist
Walla Walla Symphony, guest artist
Whitman College, masterclass