Stephanie Hancock
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Stephanie Hancock


Band Jazz Soul


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"Jazz Singer proud of her 'chops' on new CD"

Jazz singer Stephanie Hancock could be called the Patti LaBelle of Denver. This woman has confidence, charisma and down-home friendliness in abundance. She's not snooty, but she'll tell you with sincerity how talented she is.

"Yes, I do have some chops," Hancock says about her vocals on her newly released debut album, "This Happy Madness."

She's proud to say the album required very little editing.

"A lot of the tunes, I did straight through. I think the Lord was smiling on me."

Hancock will headline the Pikes Peak Jazz & Swing Society's fall concert Sunday at the Castaways in Manitou Springs. Joining her will be Eric Gunnison on piano, Bill Murray on reeds, Dennis Bueno on drums and Eduardi Beaujoux Barbosa on bass.

The album took two years to come to fruition; Hancock and her husband raised the money themselves instead seeking out a record company.

"I didn't want anyone to dictate what I wanted to do. ... I'm not interested in selling a million records - it's more about the quality of the record," she says.

For the CD, Hancock chose an array of laid-back jazz classics including Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" and Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." She also found more obscure tunes, including Estrada Branca's "This Happy Madness."

She chose a group of talented jazz musicians, including pianists Steve Barta, Joe Bonner and Gunnison; bassists Ephriam Wolfolk and Ken Walker; and drummer Ronnie Shaw.

The songs focus on love in its many forms: love found, love lost, silly love, scornful love and love not realized.

"The words are so meaningful and so powerful - they needed to be revisited." She nixed upbeat tunes for a reason.

"I felt that the more melodic, slower tunes had a chance to really showcase the quality of the voice. It was a chance to pour my heart out and show people I wasn't faking," she says.

Hancock's voice is natural and unstrained. She's been singing since she was 5 years old. But it wasn't until the songstress joined the Air Force after high school that she knew she could make a career out of singing.

"I joined the Air Force and made the Tops in Blue (a premier singing group). ... When I finished that, that's when my head swelled up," she jokes. She also sang in the Air Force Academy Band (now called the Air Force Band of the Rockies) for a couple of years, the first African-American woman hired in the group.

After her Air Force stint, she considered a career as a pop singer.

"I thought, I have as much of a chance of being struck by lightning in the desert as I do of being a pop star over 30. Pop is a young person's genre," she says. Besides, she knew her voice was made for jazz.

"I'd always loved jazz - that's what I grew up with. You have more freedom in the jazz genre; you can really experiment with your voice."

Taking a tip from her daughter, Hancock vows her next project, which she'll begin work on after the first of the year, won't be so mellow.

"I'll do more contemporary things. It'll be more happy, not so melancholy."
- The Colorado Springs Gazette


This Happy Madness (2001)

The Journey's Just Begun (Fall 08 Release)



Stephanie's music is a mix of the improvisation of Jazz and heart and soul of R&B. She draws you in with the tenderness and emotion of a lilting love song, through the twists and turns of a swinging scat chorus, then leaves you breathless with a powerful , high energy R&B anthem.
Some of Stephanie’s influences are; Ella, Sarah, Billie, Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and so many more.
Stephanie takes the music that colors her life, weaves it into a musical tapestry that is shared with her listeners leaving them in a very positive frame of mind.