Jackie Allen

Genres: Jazz Vocals
Decades Active: 1990s 2000s


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Growing up in a very musical family, with her father, herself, and four siblings all playing brass instruments, Allen eventually went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was originally torn between the relative attractions of musical drama and classical French horn, but ‘as soon as I got there, the jazz department just pulled me in’. The faculty members included Richard Davis and pianist John Wildman and they helped to draw out of her a real talent for singing jazz. She began performing in clubs and other venues while still at university and after graduation she decided to return to Milwaukee. A year or so earlier, Allen had met organist Melvin Rhyne, one-time member of Wes Montgomery’s group, and as he was based in Milwaukee she sought him out. They formed a musical partnership that lasted three years. The association ended in 1990, at which time Allen moved to Chicago, although continuing to hold down a regular...

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