- Jessica Bissett Perea
(b New York, NY, Jan 29, 1939; d Tijuana, Mexico, Oct 25, 2000). American jazz singer, lyricist, composer–improviser, multidisciplinary artist, and educator. During her 40-year career she performed internationally and recorded more than 40 albums, working with such artists as Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Marion Brown, Enrico Rava, Andrew Cyrille, Roland Kirk, Jimmy Lyons, Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Cecil Taylor, and Reggie Workman. Her vocal style reflects the influence of early mainstream jazz vocalists, including Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, and the intellectualism of postwar avant-garde jazz and experimental music. Starting in the 1960s Lee forged a new path in multidisciplinary performance that fused the aesthetics of modern dance, vocal improvisation and sound poetry (intonation, non-verbal utterances, and vocalizations), and visual arts (paintings, slide projections, and film). In the 1970s she established Earthforms Rituals, a nonprofit corporation that promoted concerts and educational programs. She also completed an MA in education at New York University in 1972. Throughout the 1980s and 90s Lee maintained an active performing schedule alongside her teaching appointments at the New England Conservatory and the royal conservatories in The Hague, Netherlands, and Antwerp, Belgium. Her musical works include a five-part suite, Emergence, and a ten-act oratorio, Prayer for our Time (1976). She has also published a textbook for young readers, Jam! The Story of Jazz Music (1999).
- Obituary, New York Times (31 Oct 2000)
- E. Porter: “Jeanne Lee’s Voice,” <http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/viewArticle/53/184> (2006)