Fran Hartshorn is a Southern California based vocalist, versatile in several musical genres. Her lush tone and vocal stylings delight audiences whether it be on swingin’ straight-ahead jazz, hot Latin grooves, breezy bossas, and soulful blues.
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Fran Hartshorn was born to sing, and has been doing so most of her life. Born in Evansville, Indiana, the youngest of 9 children into a musical family, she grew up surrounded by music. With a musical theater background she is trained in the Bel Canto vocal technique, sings in four languages and is equally at home singing Cole Porter and Mozart.
Fran’s passion is jazz: From the 1920′s and ’30′s songbook standards of Harold Arlen and Duke Ellington, to the blues of Billie Holiday and the Brazilian Bossas of Jobim to the vocalese expertise of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. She is influenced by jazz divas Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, and Diane Schuur. Her debut CD is comprised of modern arrangements of songs from the 1930′s and ’40′s.
Fran is a versatile vocalist and can be found performing in many configurations with A-list musicians, from a jazz duo or trio, to a 17 piece big band orchestra. She has played with her own band along with several various music groups including: The Bondi Latin Jazz Band, The Moonlight Serenade Orchestra big band, Blue Velvet, a retro-Vegas-style lounge act; Opus Melodious, a classical quartet; Full Measure Carolers, a professional Christmas Caroling a capella quartet; Sounds Divine, a vocal jazz ensemble, Musica Vitale, a classical music vocal ensemble. She also performs in musical theater and operetta productions.
San Diego Reader Review – Concert review – Robert Bush – June 3, 2012
“Fran Hartshorn delights packed house at 98 Bottles with Arlen Tribute”
“Hartshorn’s vocal attributes include a sure sense of pitch and an athletic ability to hit the high notes. It took her a while to warm up–but the crowd was with her every step.
The vocalist hit her stride with “Ill Wind,” navigating the bluesy contours of the melody with a natural grace that sounded organic. Her phrasing was lithe and elastic–and her pitch dead on.
Flores began “Stormy Weather,” with an atmospheric intro that conjured dark clouds of dissonance–he and Hartshorn made an effective duet of it– she with languid phrasing and controlled vibrato–he, with florid and descriptive drama.”
Jim Trageser CD Review – North County Times – November 27, 2007
“San Diego’s Fran Hartshorn is a first-rate jazz singer of the old school. Her debut CD shows a vocalist of superb range, great warmth and elegant interpretative taste. She runs through a set of standards fronting a straight-ahead jazz trio that generally does an expert job of framing her bell-like voice.”
Julia Bemiss – San Diego Troubadour CD Review
“Hartshorn’s voice is strong yet malleable. She effortlessly changes pitch and places herself solidly within the framework of her accompanying musicians…”