Maria Jacobs is an American jazz vocalist and singer/songwriter. Born of Syrian Lebanese and Armenian descent, she was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Maria became interested in jazz at a very young age thanks to her father, a drummer and singer, who performs the Great American Songbook throughout the Greater Cleveland area. He exposed Maria to jazz music from vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, to drummers Gene Krupa and Chic Webb. From a very early age, he frequently brought her to the bandstand to sing, and hone her craft as a budding jazz vocalist.
As a teenager, Maria became enthralled with singer/songwriters Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and more. Several years later, she began writing songs in the Jazz, Pop, Gospel and R&B genres.
With a Broadcast Journalism degree from Ohio State University, This former traffic reporter and disc jockey relocated to Los Angeles for twelve years and sang prestigious venues such as The Langham Huntington (formerly the Ritz Carlton), The Four Seasons in Westlake Village, Chaya of Beverly Hills, B.B. Kings Blues Club and The Torrance Civic Center with some of LA’s finest musicians. She recorded with several well-known artists including Alphonso Johnson and Ndugu Chancler of Weather Report, and co-wrote and recorded with platinum selling writer/producer Tommy Coster. She has performed with Cleveland based, nationally acclaimed keyboardist and songwriter Pastor Lafayette Carthon and FAITH, who performed one of her original Gospel songs at a Gospel Concert for his Faith Church, in the Cleveland community of Glenville.
Maria has opened for acts like jazz trumpeter/songwriter Chuck Mangione (The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano), jazz singer/songwriter Bob Dorough (Columbus, Ohio), The Average White Band and British Soul Band Loose Ends (Cleveland, Ohio). Other acclaimed artists Maria has worked with include Music Director Damien Sneed (Wynton Marsalis, Abyssinian Mass, soloist) William Henry Caldwell and Robert Porco (Cleveland Orchestra, soloist), the Jazz Heritage Orchestra and Gospel greats Bili Redd and Karen Clark Sheard.
Today, Maria Jacobs is a national recording artist whose original song, Pour Me A Cup of Yesterday, is heard on smooth jazz stations across the country and also charted on Groove Jazz Charts. and the Adjunct Professor of Applied Vocal Jazz at Kent State University, where she earned her second degree in music education, graduating Cum Laude. She is also a Principal Conductor and Curriculum Advisor for The Open Tone Music Academy.
Maria has released seven solo albums: No Frills, Free As A Dove, Chasing Dreams, Art of the Duo, Here Comes Winter, Lucky Girl, and Hold On Your Heart, a compilation of her first six albums plus the new original title track. She performs in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Columbus and some historic Cleveland venues including Severance Hall, Playhouse Square, Nighttown, Blu Jazz, The Bop Stop, The House of Blues and The TV8 Morning Show.
Maria’s jazz albums have received wonderful reviews from nationally acclaimed jazz critic Scott Yanow, and her original R&B album, Free As A Dove, received a glowing review from Musicperk.com. She has written over 100 songs and is a royalty earning member of ASCAP. She has presented master classes in songwriting at The Music Settlement, and in pop and jazz vocal technique at Kent State University - Stark Campus. She is a 2016 inductee to the Brooklyn High School Hall of Fame, her Alma Mater. Her albums can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Apple Music to name a few. You can also find her on The International Movie Database (IMDb) as composer of the theme song to the award winning film and television show So This Is Love, and as an actress in the independent student film Research: The Musical.