Musically a late bloomer and possessed with an appealingly husky and romantic voice, educator and vocalist Shelley Neill is becoming a performing staple in the Boston area. Neill has studied with such nationally known jazz musicians as Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, John Blake and Ted Dunbar. Sathima Bea Benjamin, Sheila Jordan, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis have been cited by Neill as major influences. In 1998, she opened for Stanley Turrentine at the Boston Jazz Society 25th Anniversary Year Summer Jazz Festival. During the '90s, she regularly performed at such Boston jazz venues as Ryles, Bob the Chef's, Sandrina's Jazz Café, Bullfinch's, and others. In 1999, she was one of just ten performers to receive an artist grant program from the Boston Cultural Council. Wanting to maintain artistic control over her work, Neill has issued two albums under her Boston-based Cobalt Blue Records. The first, Diaphanous Apertures released in 1996, was well-received by local and national critics alike. Neill's second album, Music Sweet Music, was released in 1999 and includes standards as well as some of her own tunes. Neill continues to perform and teach in Boston.
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