Tammy McCann

Tammy McCann

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

Tammy McCann is an internationally experienced jazz vocalist whose powerful, sultry and soulful voice paints pictures and tells stories by vocally merging jazz, gospel and classical music. She pays homage to standards (with a twist), and feels these vibrant works express today's human experiences.


Chicago Jazz singer Tammy McCann started out as a classical vocalist. Her first teacher was the renowned Dr. Lena McLin, the niece of the father of American gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey. Tammy began to work with Dr. McLin and before long, McLin recognized that Tammy's special vocal gifts, her range and versatility, were well suited to singing opera and other classical works, so she cast young Tammy as the lead in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, as well as other major operatic roles. 

 Among those mentors was National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and saxophonist  Von Freeman, who nurtured her and encouraged her to develop her musical gifts.  Then there was veteran Chicago singer and club  owner, Milt Trenier, who taught her showmanship and storytelling. 

Another mentor, Ramsey Lewis, was the first to see glimmers of a young Dinah Washington in Tammy's voice.  He educated her about the music business and impressed upon her the importance of song selection. Chicago guitarist, producer and vocal coach Henry Johnson helped Tammy discover unexplored colors and layers in her voice and showed her the importance of creating a connection with the audience all over the world.

The great soul singer, Ray Charles, auditioned hundreds of hopefuls nationwide to fill an opening in his legendary backup group, The Raelettes.  He selected Tammy and invited her to join him on his World Tour for the next two years. Tammy describes the experience as electrifying and not for the faint of heart!  She says of Charles: "He was so giving and he taught me that the standard is perfection to leave it all onstage and always make the audience your focus." 

Following the Ray Charles tour, Tammy was now ready for her own spotlight and she recorded 2 CDs with Chicago label Katalyst Records Classic and Never Let Me Go. These recordings garnered her much critical acclaim as well as the attention of one of Chicagos savviest music professionals, Alyce Claerbaut.   As the niece of Billy Strayhorn, past director of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and 

Alyce Claerbaut, President of Strayhorn Songs Publishing brought Tammy to New York where she performed with some of the jazz worlds most influential players including the acclaimed American vocalist/songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway; saxophonistHouston Person; trombonist Wycliffe Gordon; trumpeter Terell Stafford; pianists Jon Weber and Bruce Barth; and bassist/producer John Clayton. Tammy received a warm welcome from The Mabel Mercer Foundation as well as from Francis Kiernan, Executive Director of The Nelson Riddle Foundation, who said "Shes got the vocal apparatus of a Rolls-Royce", and immediately began conceiving projects for her.

Tammy McCann has been featured on NPRs Piano Jazz  Rising Stars radio program as well as on WTTW  Chicago Tonight (Chicago public television) broadcasts.  She continues to expand her versatile repertoire of jazz,  American Songbook, & musical theater and to perform diverse programs for enthusiastic audiences around the world. Chicago Tribune Arts Critic, Howard Reich, summed up Tammy McCann's talent in his review of her performance at the Jazz Showcase saying: "McCann found new tones and colors, fresh shadings and tints in an instrument that already ranks among the most alluring in jazz. Intent on doing something unexpected with practically every phrase, McCann produced sounds one hadn't thought were within her capability. Or anyone's.  How can one singer conjure the larger-than-life vocal manner of Dinah Washington, as McCann did in Easy Living, but also the dusky timbre and languorous phrasing of Sarah Vaughan, as McCann achieved in S Wonderful? Yet how can she also transcend those influences, and others, to sound like no one else at all ! "



Katalyst Records

Katalyst Records

Tammy McCann and the Voices of Glory
Saar Records, Gospel CD (Europe)

Ramsey Lewis, Producer

Tammy McCann and Wonderbrass
Saar Records, Jazz CD (Europe)

Set List

The set list changes depending on the venue and needs of the client.

Tammy has a vast repitoire of classic standards and originals.