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Holli W. Ross

Adjunct Associate Professor of Music


BMUS, 1979, Mannes Coll Music


HOLLI ROSS is a serious jazz singer who knows how to present a song with a measure of elegance…a top-tier jazz vocalist.” – Edward Blanco, All About Jazz. Her vocal ensemble experience is well documented on recordings with her long-time collaborators, the female vocal trio, String Of Pearls, Washington DC-based quartet, Mad Romance, and the NY- based quintet, 5 Steps Beyond. Holli's work with these groups included high-level festival and concert appearances such as with Peter Nero and the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, the JVC and The Monterey Jazz Festivals.

Her most recent foray into jazz vocal ensemble singing has teamed Holli up with NY’s top jazz singers to form the wildly acclaimed quartet, The Royal Bopsters.  They’re landmark recording not only features the voices of Amy London, Pete McGuinness and Dylan Pramuk but showcases Jazz Masters, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough and Mark Murphy.  Downbeat Magazine rated it 4 ½ stars and Jazz Times along with numerous jazz blogs listed The Royal Bopsters Project as one of the top picks for 2015.

When Holli steps out of line from her usual role she has recently brought forth her first solo recording as a leader on Miles High Records called “You’ll See.”  With a stellar band of NY’s top jazz musicians, Ted Rosenthal, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson, Claudio Roditi and Dennis Wilson, Holli graces the airwaves with fresh treatments of choice selections from the Great American Songbook as well as several original lyrics penned to compositions by both Roditi and Reid (co-written with fellow Pearl, Jeanne). 

In pursuing her solo career, Holli has performed at top jazz clubs and concerts nationwide, from New Orleans' Snug Harbor to New York's Blue Note. She has toured Europe and recorded with the well-known German vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmidt; she has also written lyrics to several of his compositions.  Holli has recorded with organist Jack MacDuff and has performed with jazz greats, Gene Bertoncini, Don Braden, Cecil Brooks lll, Bill Charlap, John Faddis, Bill Mays, Darmon Meader (of the NY Voices), Harmonica/vibraphonist, Hendrik Meurkens, Bucky Pizzarelli, Claudio Roditi, Ted Rosenthal, Dennis Wilson, and one of her greatest influences, singing giant, Jon Hendricks.  Her discography also includes appearances on the NY-based "New Singers, New Songs" recording project.

Holli received her degree from Mannes College of Music (performance in bassoon) and studied with the great jazz saxophonist Warne Marsh. As a published songwriter for ASCAP and GEMA, Holli has penned lyrics to compositions by Miles Davis, Harold Danko, Roger Kellaway, Ivan Lins, Bill Mays, Roberto Menescal, Rufus Reid, Claudio Roditi, Sarah Vaughan, and Mal Waldron.  Her songs have been recorded by Mark Murphy, Meredith D'Ambrosio, Giacomo Gates, String of Pearls, 5 Steps Beyond, and Janis Seigel (of Manhattan Transfer) with the Count Basie Band.

Holli is a dedicated music educator, conducts clinics across the country, and teaches extensively in the New York area, most notably at Hofstra University where she is an Associate Adjunct Professor, Montclair State University and Mannes College of Music.  Holli is also a licensed voice therapist specializing in voice disorders and has a private practice in New Jersey. 




Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
MUS 003P (CP) VOICE Undergraduate
Photo of Holli Ross

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