Photo by Leslie Bohm


Photo by Bob Barry


Photo by Leslie Bohm


Jazz singer, trumpeter, arranger, composer, and lyricist Anna Callahan celebrates the release of her second CD, It's Just the Rain. Since her first performance as a soloist in November of 2000, she quickly became known as one of Los Angeles' most compelling jazz musicians. Now in Boston, Anna continues to play, arrange, and compose.

Hers is a lifelong dedication to jazz: she wrote and arranged her first jazz composition for big band in high school, where she also won state awards for both vocal jazz and classical trumpet playing.

While getting her math degree at the University of Michigan, Anna became the leading force in the newly formed vocal group Amazin' Blue. Under her direction, the group began winning national awards for their recordings and for Anna's arrangements. Anna is the author of "The Collegiate A Cappella Arranging Manual", published by Hal Leonard and considered the standard text on the subject. She was also one of four arrangers in UAAS, an international service providing arrangements for both a cappella and accompanied vocal groups.

By the age of twenty-three Anna had established herself as a gifted arranger. At this point her drive to fully understand the jazz medium compelled her to immerse herself in the other dimension of jazz--improvisation. She learned from recordings of Clifford Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, and Chick Corea (along with many others). Without any formal jazz training, she was soon able to hold her own as a trumpeter with many accomplished musicians in the Ann Arbor area, including Paul Keller (bassist for Diana Krall) and Mark Hynes (saxophonist with the Rodney Whitaker Sextet).

In Los Angeles, Anna taught Vocal Jazz at California State University at Long Beach where she led award-winning ensembles before she left to concentrate on performing. She toured Brazil with the Ray Conniff Orchestra. In the fall of 2000 she formed the Anna Callahan quartet, which has performed at Los Angeles area clubs such as the Jazz Bakery, Steamers, Charlie O's, and Spazio, among others (see Calendar page for details).

Anna's debut CD, "My Ideal," was released August 30, 2002. My Ideal is being played on dozens of jazz stations around the country and internationally, and Anna has been a featured artist on United Airlines as well as A&R Online, a site that links exceptional artists with record labels.

Anna now performs with groups ranging from duets with piano or guitar to septets including other horns. These small combos are ideal for showcasing the many facets of her talent, not least of which is a vivacious personality that radiates playful energy.

Her second CD, "It's Just the Rain", was released in November of 2004. It is an exploration of the difference between pop music and jazz, containing both jazz standards and originals. There is a long tradition among jazz artists of taking popular songs and playing them in a jazz setting; modern artists such as Cassandra Wilson continue on this road. Callahan's concept for her second album is the contrary: to use jazz standards and jazz-format originals while incorporating elements of popular music and arranging.

For more information about Anna Callahan, see