one of Canada's foremost singers of gospel, blues and jazz, was born
near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved to Toronto with her family, while
still at a young age.
grew up in Richmond Hill which she still considers her hometown. Jackie
began singing in her church choir at seven and her successful musical
career started at the age of sixteen when she joined a local
quartet called "The
Tiaras" . She later performed at the Canadian Forces bases across
Canada, the South Pacific and the Far East.
A veteran of the stage and the small and large screens, Jackie Richardson
forged a very successful acting career with roles in "No! No! Nanette
Anything Goes"; "Hello Dolly!"; and “Raisin in the
Sun". She became well known for her part in "Ain't Misbehaving" ,
which earned her a Dora Award. With her glorious voice, it's not surprising
that she is in demand. Over the years, she has performed and/or recorded
with, among others, Rita Chiarelli, Morgan Davis, Anne Murray, Alannah
Myles, Joe Sealy, Ken Whiteley, Kingsley Etienne, Jeff Jones and Michelle
Wright. Richardson's own CD, A Woman's View: Child Eyes, which is mainly
contemporary jazz, is currently available in music stores.
of 1992, she helped to promote the James Robinson Johnston Chair in
Black Canadian Studies, a worthwhile cause that benefits African Canadians
in the field of higher education, history, culture and research.
A dazzling performer, Richardson has a powerful and supple voice - it sounds
as if it could almost soar to the heavens - and a warm, vibrant stage presence.
The music of Jackie Richardson is an experience of soul, a profoundly personal
synthesis of the remarkable gospel, blues and jazz women she has embodied on
stage and screen. It is also a portrait of self - not the showcase of a showboat
but a demonstration of songmanship in the service of spirit.
2004 Dora Mavor Moore Winner for Best Female Principal Role in a Musical for
Cookin’ at the Cookery: The Music & Times of Alberta Hunter, Ms. Richardson
has received Gemini, Dora, Juno, Jessie, Betty, Toronto Blues Society and NAACP