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Salena Jones


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Salena Jones (born Joan Elizabeth Shaw, January 29, 1944 in Newport News, Virginia) is an American jazz and cabaret singer.

Born Joan Elizabeth Shaw in Newport News, Virginia, same home town as Ella Fitzgerald. “I loved Sarah Vaughan so much and adored Lena Horne’s elegance, I put them together as ‘Salena.’ It looked good. And I kept Joan in ‘Jones.’” And that’s how Salena Jones was born.”

Jones began singing in church, school and began club work at the age of fifteen. After winning a talent contest in New York’s Apollo Theater, singing “September Song”. She began making demonstration records for Peggy Lee and Lena Horne, acquired her own contract. Her first disc was 1949’s “He Knows How to Hucklebuck”, with the Paul Williams Orchestra—and she toured and sang throughout the 1950s with Louis Armstrong, Arthur Prysock, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Big Maybelle—sharing bills with fellow Newport News natives the The Five Keys as well as LaVern Baker, before touring in Spain (1965) and Britain (1966), where she appeared for an extended season at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Since then she has appeared at most leading concert halls and clubs in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, and appeared regularly on radio and TV, with her own series in the United Kingdom.


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