CARMEN MCCRAE (vocalist) was born April 8, 1920 in Harlem, N.Y. and passed away November 10, 1994. A master of interpreting lyrics with great musicality places McCrae in the top echelon of jazz singers. Citing Billie Holiday as major influence, her first songwriting effort “Dream of Life” was recorded by Billie and she often featured one of Billie’s tunes in her live performances. As featured vocalist with a few big bands and using her piano training she was easily able to rise to the rhythmic and harmonic challenge of bebop. Performing with some of the biggest names in jazz and recording over 51 albums, McCrae toured extensively and received numerous awards and honours including a Grammy nomination for one of her last albums, “Carmen Sings Monk”.