Grace was very active in the jazz vocal education community, presenting masterclasses and online educational opportunities. Here's her bio:
It was a long journey from the small town of Endicott in upstate New York to the stages and clubs of New York City. In making the journey, Grace Testani never forgot the warm evenings with her Italian working class family, gathered with relatives and a few bottles of wine, singing songs of the old country to the accompaniment of accordions, mandolins and guitars. Their exuberance and love for music, a sheer joy of performing, was incorporated by Grace in a musical presence and vocal style which now places her in the vanguard of jazz vocalists.
A singer in the tradition of Annie Ross, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Eddie Jefferson and Ella Fitzgerald, Grace combines lyrical and ethereal scatting - reminiscent of the great "bop" players - with a technically precise harmonic range and the kind of risk taking that few jazz singers attempt in their careers. She can infuse pop standards and show tunes with new life by employing intricate compound rhythms, as in her 5/4 6/8 arrangement of Lerner and Loews'sShow Meor her funky 6/4 arrangement of Bill Withers'Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone.
Grace's forte is bringing together the finest musicians, creating an ensemble experience that allows each member of the group to express his or her virtuosity, creating an excitement in the group with her arrangements and leadership, which is then communicated to and experienced by the audience. Her music is appreciated by jazz purists and, at the same time, is accessible and enjoyed by large and varied groups of non-jazz aficionados. People have even been known to get up and dance at her New York club performances at Birdland, Blue Note, Village Gate and others!
In addition to her arranging, Grace is also a composer and is co-writer withChick CoreaandKenny Barron. Her current recording,Something's Coming, is receiving national and international airplay and media coverage.
Grace has appeared in a Japanese TV documentary about world-renown trumpeter,Teramasa Hino, has open twice forSonny Fortuneand was even inThe Godfather II.
A former actress and co founder of theCapital Rep Theatre Companyand theCastillo Cultural Center, Grace communicates a dramatic and impassioned presence with sensitive lyrics adapted to works recognized originally as instrumentals. Her natural ease with a wide ranging repertoire that includes swing, ballads, Latin (including Salsa and Samba), jazz and original works derives from her depth of experience as a composer, arranger and solo pianist. Grace has performed in numerous musical theatre productions as well as with her own quintet and is often featured on the roster of benefit performances in the New York City area.
In addition to singing, arranging, composing and playing keyboards, Grace is on the faculty ofNew York University - SCPSand has been on the faculties of The New School (the Guitar Study Center), The Drummers Collective/ SOJ Contemporary Music Studios and The Hebrew Arts School (Abraham Goodman House), a tutor for New York University (Gallatin Division) and Empire State College. She has adjudicated at the Reno, NV Jazz Festival and has co-lead workshops withSheila Jordon,Jay Clayton, andJanet Lawsonin other jazz festivals.
Grace is now the Director ofThe Singers Center-Sing Jazz and More™, a learning and networking center for singers in New York City and Online.