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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Shirley Horn


SHIRLEY HORN (pianist, vocalist, bandleader, composer) was born May 31, 1934 in Washington D.C. and passed away on October 20, 2005. Considered one of the jazz world’s premier pianist/vocalists, the smoky voiced Horn spent most of her career in the Washington area. Recognizing her similar approach to music – use of space and silence – Miles Davis invited her to New York in the early 1960s. When her recording contract with Mercury expired, she went into semi-retirement for some 25 years, but had a career resurgence in the 1980s producing critically acclaimed albums such as “Here’s to Life” which was number one on the Billboard charts for 16 weeks and earning a Grammy and seven nominations. Among her many accolades was being named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2005.