Grace Testani PictureGrace Testani

Jazz Vocalist
Educator * Arranger
Composer * Keyboardist

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BIO (PDF version)
FACT SHEET (PDF version)

It was a long journey from the small town of Endicott in upstate New York to the stages and clubs of New York City. In making the journey, Grace Testani never forgot the warm evenings with her Italian working class family, gathered with relatives and a few bottles of wine, singing songs of the old country to the accompaniment of accordions, mandolins and guitars. Their exuberance and love for music, a sheer joy of performing, was incorporated by Grace in a musical presence and vocal style which now places her in the vanguard of jazz vocalists.

A singer in the tradition of Annie Ross, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Eddie Jefferson and Ella Fitzgerald, Grace combines lyrical and ethereal scatting - reminiscent of the great "bop" players - with a technically precise harmonic range and the kind of risk taking that few jazz singers attempt in their careers. She can infuse pop standards and show tunes with new life by employing intricate compound rhythms, as in her 5/4 6/8 arrangement of Lerner and Loews's Show Me or her funky 6/4 arrangement of Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone.

Grace's forte is bringing together the finest musicians, creating an ensemble experience that allows each member of the group to express his or her virtuosity, creating an excitement in the group with her arrangements and leadership, which is then communicated to and experienced by the audience. Her music is appreciated by jazz purists and, at the same time, is accessible and enjoyed by large and varied groups of non-jazz aficionados. People have even been known to get up and dance at her New York club performances at Birdland, Blue Note, Village Gate and others!

In addition to her arranging, Grace is also a composer and is co-writer with Chick Corea and Kenny Barron. Her current recording, Something's Coming, is receiving national and international airplay and media coverage.

Grace has appeared in a Japanese TV documentary about world-renown trumpeter, Teramasa Hino, has open twice for Sonny Fortune and was even in The Godfather II.

A former actress and co founder of the Capital Rep Theatre Company and the Castillo Cultural Center, Grace communicates a dramatic and impassioned presence with sensitive lyrics adapted to works recognized originally as instrumentals. Her natural ease with a wide ranging repertoire that includes swing, ballads, Latin (including Salsa and Samba), jazz and original works derives from her depth of experience as a composer, arranger and solo pianist. Grace has performed in numerous musical theatre productions as well as with her own quintet and is often featured on the roster of benefit performances in the New York City area.

In addition to singing, arranging, composing and playing keyboards, Grace is on the faculty of New York University - SCPS and has been on the faculties of The New School (the Guitar Study Center), The Drummers Collective/ SOJ Contemporary Music Studios and The Hebrew Arts School (Abraham Goodman House), a tutor for New York University (Gallatin Division) and Empire State College. She has adjudicated at the Reno, NV Jazz Festival and has co-lead workshops with Sheila Jordon, Jay Clayton, and Janet Lawson in other jazz festivals.

Grace is now the Director of The Singers Center - Sing Jazz and More™, a learning and networking center for singers in New York City and Online.


880 Club (Hartford, CT)

Lincoln Center (Damrosch Park)

Seventh Avenue South

Atrium Restaurant (Irvine, CA)

Greene Street Cafe

Small’s Paradise (Harlem)


J’s Upstairs

St. John the Devine Cathedral

Blue Note

Jazz Center of New York

St. Moritz Hotel

Brass Rail (Hoboken, NJ)

Kelly’s Village West

Stand Up NY

Castillo Music Club



Chrystie’s Skylight Room

New Music Cafe


Columbia University

New York Sheraton Hotel

Tavern On The Green


Parker Meridian Hotel

West Bank Café

Creole (Harlem, NY)

Boca Raton Resort

Village Gate (bottom)

NYC Women’s Jazz Festival

Numberous benefits

Private & Corporate parties








Adam Nussbaum

Les Kurtz

Jimmy Madison

Mike Clark

Sonny Fortune

Akira Tana

Garry Dial

Jimmy Ponder

Mike Richmond

Steve LaSpina

Armond Donelian

George Gray, Jr.

Joe Pasarro

Neil Kirkwood

Saadi Zain

Asher Delerme

Greg Bufford

Joey Baron

Patience Higgins

T.M. Stevens

Bob Moses

Harold Danko

Keith Lambeth

Peter Grant

Teramasa Hino


Harold Mabern

Jon Burr

Phil Markowitz

Terry Silverlight

Carla White

Harry Whitaker

Kenny Warner

Ramone Achekara

Wally Gator

Chip Jackson

Harvie S

Lafayette Harris

Ron McClure

Jack Wilkins

Dale Gordon

Jack Wilkins

Lewis Nash

Ratso Harris

William Parker

Danny Gottlieb

Jamil Nasser

Marc Copland

Ricky Sebastian

Dennis Irwin

Janet Lawson

Marc Johnson

Roger Rosenberg

Dewey Delay

Jay Clayton

Mark Purcelli

Russell Blake

Ed Soph

Jeff Brillinger

Marvin Horne

Sammy Figueroa

Essiet Essiet

Jeff Levine

Michael Formanek

Stanley Banks

Janice Friedman

Jim McNeely

Michael Abene

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Grace Notes Music is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Grace Notes Music may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deducible to the extent permitted by law.

Check out her recording,
Something's Coming

Grace's CD

directly from Grace Notes
(special Spring offer)
Also available at
and many more sites online

Singers Center
All That Jazz Singing Workshop

beginning soon
reserve your seat now
The Singers Center

Grace is also the Director of
The Singers Center
Head over for a current list of courses
specifically for singers.


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