Stacy Rowles, 1955-2009

Family members and friends are planning a memorial service for Stacy Rowles. No date has been set. The trumpeter and singer died at home in Burbank, California, on October 27 of injuries from an automobile accident two weeks earlier. She was 54. The daughter of pianist Jimmy Rowles, she studied piano for a time. Despite her father’s example, she was not attracted to the instrument. She eventually tried an old trumpet that was in the Rowles house and immediately took to it. The vibraphonist and teacher Charlie Shoemake, with whom she studied for a time, told me today, “Stacy was a natural talent. She listened to the right people, and her ear took her to the right places.”
Ms. Rowles and her father co-led a group in Los Angeles for a time in the early 1990s.Thumbnail image for Two Rowleses.jpg She recorded three albums with him. They included Me And The Moon, which featured her on flugelhorn and as a singer. Jimmy Rowles died in 1996. Me And The Moon is an out-of-print collector’s item. Jazz enthusiast and frequent Rifftides correspondent Gordon Sapsed used the title tune as the soundtrack for a tribute montage of his photos of Stacy. He posted it on YouTube. Both Rowleses play and sing.

Also on YouTube, but off-limits to embedding bloggers, are two performances by Swinging Ladies, one of several all-female groups with which Stacy Rowles played. They are from a concert in front of Hannover, Germany’s, imposing town hall, the Rathaus, in 1998. With her are Sharon Hirata; alto and tenor saxophone; Janice Friedmann, piano; Lindy Huppertsberg, bass; and Jill Fredericksen, drums. You will find them by clicking here and here.

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  1. turk mauro says

    i am very saddened to learn of stacy’s death. we met in paris and played and recorded with jimmy rowles and at the Nice jazz festival in 1990. i thought she played wonderfully. her eyes reflected her depth and warmness. rip dear jazz lady.
    turk mauro, ft lauderdale fl

  2. Michael Huffman says

    I grew up with Stacy and knew her since Junior High. We even worked together at a liquor store in Glendale.
    Always a fan of hers and Jimmy’s and would come down and listen to their gigs whenever they played Los Angeles, separately or together. Last time I saw Stacy she had her band the “Jazz Birds” and were down at Chadney’s in Burbank. I will never forget that night! With Stacey and the other “Birds” performing, I was sitting at the table with Chick Corea and Lee Ritenour when Charlie Watts and Keith Richards walked in.
    I saw her last when I went up to her house in Burbank to get a copy of “Me and the Moon” soon after it first was released.
    Today, one year later, I learned of her passing and am deeply shocked. she was an amazing person and a very talented musician…one of the best players around.