Sheila Cooper is a subtly dramatic jazz singer AND hard-swinging saxophonist, “moving from vocals to horn with dazzling dexterity” (The Vienna Review, Austria), with emotional directness and a deeply compelling range of vulnerability and power. “Purely sung melodies are followed by effortless saxophone improvisations. It is obvious that she lives in the moment with each instrument …” (Jazz Dimensions, Germany)
On “Phoenix Rising”, her fourth CD as a leader, Sheila Cooper brings her songwriting skills to the fore, with six inspired new compositions that match her emotional breadth as a performer, Sheila is backed by master New York musicians Gary Versace on piano, organ, and accordian, Ed Howard on acoustic bass, and Billy Drummond on drums.
“Tales of Love and Longing”, a set of duets with the late Austrian jazz piano great, Fritz Pauer, was released to international critical acclaim on the UK jazz label Candid Records in spring 2008. “…what an inspired and creative pairing … Tales of Love and Longing is a recording of incredible warmth and intimacy … enormous depth of feeling…achingly beautiful reading…a tour de force.” Jazzwise Magazine, UK
Sheila left her native Canada for jazz mecca New York City to jumpstart her career, landing performance opportunities as varied as the Broadway stage, movie soundtracks, jazz festivals, nightclubs and concert halls throughout the world. She has recorded and/or performed as a leader with Renee Rosnes, Jorge Rossy, Kenny Drew Jr, Scott Colley, Marcello Pelleteri and Lewis Nash. In addition to co-producing her own CDs, she has several other credits as album co-producer, including CDs with David Holland, Ralph Towner, and Kenny Wheeler.
Based in Vienna, Austria since 2006, Sheila frequently guest stars with premiere jazz musicians across Europe — most recently in Belarus, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Greece, Croatia, UK, Germany, and Austria. Her latest project is a chord-less quintet called “Infinite Skies” with saxophonist-composer-arranger Andy Middleton.