“Dr. Lena McLin was, and still is, a firebrand music educator: She was a fierce disciplinarian when it came to class protocol and how she taught both classical and traditional African American music in our award-winning Harlan High School girls choir. So when I was elevated to lead the first alto section I was thrilled! She taught me to own and honor my voice and by extension, myself.” – en.wikipedia.org
Lena McLin and Jimmy Sigler
The McLin/Sigler Effect
“Not only was Jimmy Sigler one of the greatest accompanists a singer could ask for, he was the kindest and most generous musicians I have ever met. He shared his musical secrets with me and taught me to challenge myself beyond my perceived vocal and stylistic limitations. He saw the potential in my talent long before I did and helped me shape and expand it. Never one for the spotlight himself, he was glad to support, shape and mentor me on the way to finding my own voice.” – books.google.com
…Performances have included gigs with Barry Harris, Chico Freeman, Buster Williams, Eric Reed, Stanley Banks, Russell Malone, Lonnie Plaxico, Lui Satterfield, Lafayette Harris, Jimmy Sigler, Famadou Don Moye, Ari Brown, Maurice Brown, Jesse Cheese Hameen, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, Curtis Robinson, Norman Hedman, Eric Frazier, Bob Cunningham, Gerry Eastman, Leandro Varady and others. As a family friend, she participated in the memorial service and tribute to hard-bop legend, Von Freeman, performing with his last trio, the 3M’s – Michael Allemana, Michael Raynor and Matt Ferguson. She has also opened for artists such as actor Clifton Davis and renowned ‘smooth jazz’ saxophonist, Najee.
…Marguerite took her initial music training at Harlan high school from international composer and teacher, Dr. Lena McLin, who is also gospel music founder, Thomas A. Dorsey’s niece and protégé. “Dr. McLin was, and still is, a firebrand music educator: She was a fierce disciplinarian when it came to class protocol and how she taught both classical and traditional African American music in our award-winning girls choir. So when I was elevated to lead the first alto section I was thrilled! She taught me to own and honor my voice and by extension, myself.” Marguerite played French horn in the concert band. In New York, she resumed her musical instruction, with classical vocal work and jazz improvisation and composition at The Williamsburg Music Center, with Jimmy Sigler and Gerry Eastman. Jimmy Sigler, pianist and composer for Gamble and Huff – and Dinah Washington’s last music director – was Marguerite’s mentor and accompanist. They worked together for 14 years until his death…her CD (Wild Women Never Get The Blues…Well, Not Anymore!) is his final recording. “Not only was Jimmy one of the greatest accompanist a singer could ask for, he was the kindest and most generous musicians I have ever met. He shared his musical secrets with me and taught me to challenge myself beyond my perceived vocal and stylistic limitations. He saw the potential in my talent long before I did and helped me shape and expand it. Never one for the spotlight himself, he was glad to support, shape and mentor me on the way to finding my own voice.” With national and international experience as a big band and small ensemble jazz and blues vocalist, Marguerite has appeared in numerous music festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, The South Shore Jazz Festival, Ravinia Festival, The Henry Street Music Festival (NY), The Hyde Park Jazz Festival (Chicago), and New York Concerts in the Park. She has been a musical guest on numerous television shows including BET Jazz, and co-produced and hosted the Sounds of Sikia music series for WYCC-TV, a PBS affiliate, in Chicago. She has done extensive tours of Asia, including China, Taiwan and Singapore.
My musical sound was shaped by the blues and jazz I heard growing up in the south and the north – and my relationship with the French horn that I played in high school. Hence, I have always thought of my voice as an instrument. That sensibility fits well within the framework of the great men and women who were the pioneers of America’s Classical music. It is an honor to have followed in their footsteps.
“Marguerite Mariama…knows what she’s talking and singing about…she’s one of the most exciting blues belters on the scene…she’s equally comfortable with a moody ballad…boasts an enviable range with confident intonation to display her ‘straightahead’ jazz chops and her infectious sense of musical humor. –Harvey Siders, JazzTimes
“Marguerite Mariama’s first recording…is a smashing success right from the opening gate. Her gifted and versatile voice coupled with a wonderful array of songs, serves notice that this is a talent to follow.” – Eric Frazier, Jazz Improv
“Her sultry timbre lined with bluesy intonations immediately demands attention…She swings effortlessly…her sincerity is ever present as a warm sensitivity drawing you into the heart of each song. She turns songs into life experiences.”– Ron Scott, New York Amsterdam News
“Her voice greets you like a hug from a longtime friend. Take this one home to mama.” – Rahsaan Clark Morris, Creativity Magazine, Chicago
“Marguerite’s vocal sound is rich and warm and she embraces her material with a measure of confidence rare in newcomers…Clearly, this is a singer to look out for in the future.” – Bruce Crowthers, Online Music Critic
“The first thing that stops you in your tracks is the great jazz vibrato jazz singer, actor, educator, & choreographer Marguerite Mariama contains. This is a jazz singer we must immediately reckon with. … Marguerite is a singer’s singer with the concept, chops & vocalese and an intuitive gift for melodic maturity. Also, she possesses a loose & innate delivery…achieving a soft, warm tone.” – George W. Carroll, Musicians’ Ombudsman
Wonderful compilation of material, beautifully produced, elegant vocal style with tremendous artistic and technical command of the voice. Collaborations with top jazz artists a highlight. A vibrant, energizing, classy musical experience — rivaling any “famous name” artists. Buy this record!” – Lisa Johnson, Dean – Mannes College of Music
“Wow! What a Talent!” Marguerite Mariama is beautiful, bright, communicative, and possesses one of the most richly beautiful voices coupled with an instinctive sense of rhythm and phrasing. She not only sings her songs, she interprets them and embellishes them with the quality of the best of jazz vocalists. Pay attention here, music lovers. Marguerite Mariama is a brilliant talent and this CD is one of the best vocal jazz albums in years!” – Grady Harp, Amazon
“Mariama’s vocal talents …bring back memories of great singers like Sarah Vaughan who really knew how to deliver a ballad…swings like a breakaway pendulum… Mariama delivers in high style.” – Richard Bourcier, Jazzreview.com