Sheila Jordan has been singing since early childhood. As a teenager, she appeared in Detroit night clubs. Although racial tensions were still prevalent at the time, the singer did not hesitate to work with black musicians, which earned her some criticism. In the 1950s, she moved to New York, married the pianist Duke Jordan and studied with Lennie Tristano. A scat enthusiast, Jordan is known for her vocal acrobatics. Her talent wasn't fully recognized until the 1970s. Since then, the vocalist has continued to record and appear in concert. In 2009, she shared the Festival stage with the Jeff Johnston Trio.