At age 3, Linda Cole began singing with her father and mother, James and Erma Cole, on holidays and special occasions, at home parties and throughout the community of Freeport, Illinois; delivering love, joy, peace and happiness, to all their listeners. In the following years, as the family added six more singing Cole children, Linda became instrumental in the formation of the “Singing Cole Family”; known throughout central United States. The “Singing Cole Family” was honored by the Illinois History magazine in 1963 and 1965.
After 17 years of “gospel” and “pop” music experience with her family, Linda branched out into “rhythm & blues” while traveling from Manhattan, New York to Detroit, Michigan (as an opening act for the Motown Review), where she released several hit singles and was the leading lady in the stage play and “made for TV movie”, ‘Talkin ‘Bout Love; and on to Los Angeles, California. She has worked with such artists as Billy “Spinner” Henderson of the superstar group, The Spinners; and Billy Davis, Jr. of The Fifth Dimension.
For 10 years, Linda was musical director and vocal coach for a non-profit organization in Pasadena, California, and there she directed a gospel choir, a children’s choir, a gospel ensemble, and performed with a “top 40” band called the “Children Of Light” and a jazz combo called, “The Chick Glenn Combo” under the direction of Dr. Glenn W. Kinley. She also wrote children’s songs and gospel songs and was the vocal arranger for all of the groups.
By 1991, Linda had relocated to the Central Florida began singing “straight ahead jazz” and “standards”. She has appeared in such diverse rooms as Heidi’s, Cocoa Beach, FL; Downtown Blues and Jazz Club (Sapphire Club), Orlando, FL; Peter Scott’s in Longwood; FL the Hilton, the Chef & Cleft, Charleston, SC; and other fine restaurants and jazz spots throughout the Southeastern United States. Linda Cole adds to her list of accomplishments: engagements at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island; Spruce Creek Fly-In Country Club; the Central Florida Jazz Society and Northeast Florida Jazz Association, Inc.; ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) and Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.
She was the opening act for David Benoit at Light Up Orlando-1991 and was special guest and recording artist for the “Yummies” cassette, recorded live at the 3rd Annual Jazz Benefit Show for the Brevard County Community Food Bank, sponsored by “Jack Simpson’s Jazz On The Beach”. She was headliner and opening act for Spyro Gyra, at the Ormond Beach “Jazzmatazz” ’93, Chuck Magione at Jazzmatazz ’94, Richard Elliott, Jazzmatazz ’95 and Acoustic Alchemy in ’96. Linda was featured vocalist with the U.S. Navy Orlando Jazz Big Band at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida; performed the National Anthem for the Rolex 400 24-Hour Race for NASCAR at the Daytona International Speedway, February, 1995 and the 1995 Spoleto Festival (headliner-Chick Corea) in Charleston, South Carolina.
Linda was the guest artist for the Neophonic Orchestra concert, under the direction of Mike Arena and is scheduled to appear at numerous upcoming jazz festivals. Linda adds to the many highlights of her career, a cast member with Daytona Opry(a spin-off of the Grand Ole Opry) a guest appearance with the “Count Basie Orchestra”; opening act for Bob Newhart during the Florida International Festival series of opening acts for the London Symphony Orchestra; the Temptations; jazz legend Mark Murphy at the Cocoa Beach Jazz Festival; and a Post 9/11 musical American tribute for Rudolph Giuliani. As an advocate for victims of crime and artists with special needs, Linda Cole serves on the board of the Victims Advocate Coalition of the Seventh Judicial Circuit and the Very Special Arts Florida. Linda recently was voted to sit on the Governing Board of the Flagler Auditorium, Palm Coast, FL.
In 2008, Linda co-directed and starred in the historical play, CROWNS, at the Flagler Playhouse in Bunnell, FL. a commissioned work to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NAACP. She is currently performing as guest soloist with the internationally-known Nancy Waldman Trio, including Doug Matthews on bass and Warren Cohen on drums. She currently performs regularly across Florida and the southeast with various groups. In September 2014, Linda has released an album on J-Bo Records in collaboration with Jacksonville pianist/arranger/bandleader Joshua Bowlus entitled “What a Wonderful World.”