Mavis "Swan" Poole
Crowned “Little Ella” by legendary tromobonist Curtis Fuller, award winning vocalist/composer/lyricist Mavis ‘SWAN’ Poole is generating quite a buzz on the music scene. Swan is graced with an unrivaled brilliance of shattering genre barriers with her rich and smoky sound, and is often compared to vocalists like Erykah Badu, Ella Fitzgerald, Jill Scott, and Abbey Lincoln.
Swan displays her versatility as a complete musician by working amongst the greats in a variety of genres. The vocalist for the Bill Lee big band, (filmmaker Spike Lee’s father), was praised as “Indy’s 2007 Jazz Vocalist to watch”, yet flexible enough to record with Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder & Hip Hop guru Buckshot on a collaboration. She also has graced the stage numerous times as supporting vocals for Ms. Lauryn Hill, and soul singer N’Dambi.
HER story: “Bull City’s” finest is the “knee-baby” of five siblings, born and raised in Durham, North Carolina to musically inclined parents, and attended the very prestigious North Carolina Central University.While there, she was in all Choirs & Ensembles, as well as Marching Band, (EL Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma)Recording artist Lenora Zenzalai Helm, and jazz icons Ira Wiggins and Arnold George were just a few of her most impacting mentors as an undergraduate student.
Swan is the recipient of many awards, including Port Townsend Centrum Jazz Festival participant, Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, Sister’s In Jazz (IAJE)(sr&hm), “Indy’s 2007 Jazz Vocalist to watch", and the Featured Artist for music networks like Reverb Nation, Indie Music Universe, and SonicBids.
She went on to work, study, and/or record with Jazz greats like Kurt Elling, Roy Hargrove, the late Dr. Billy Taylor, Fred Wesley, Nathan Davis, Hubert Laws, Bill Lee, Winard Harper, Jeff Tain Watts, Dee Daniels, John & Jeff Clayton, Nicholas Payton, Curtis Fuller, Chip Jackson, Branford Marsalis, Nancy King, Joey Calderazzo, Carmen Lundy, Geri Allen, newcomer Esparanza Spalding, Branford Marsalis, George Cables, and a host of other trendsetting musicians that helped her solidify her unique sound and style. Dianne McIntyre introduced her to collaboration with the dance world, allowing Swan to lend her talents to her rendition of Helen Tamiris’ “How Long, Brethren?” for the 2007 American Dance Festival.
A magna cum laude graduate earning a BA in Music Ed. ,as well as a BM in Jazz Vocal Studies, Swan is completing her MA at Queens College, where she studies with Antonio Hart, David Berkman, Howard Brofsky, Michael Mossman, and Miles Griffith.