Hailed as “gently virtuosic” (All About Jazz), singer Maud Hixson is a devoted exponent of great songs, ranging from the classic Great American Songbook to the often unsung or forgotten compositions awaiting rediscovery.
Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Maud is the co-founder of the continental jazz sextet French 75 with clarinetist Tony Balluff. She made her Guthrie Theater debut in the Noel Coward revue Coward’s Women, and has also appeared in Park Square Theater’s The Soul of Gershwin. She teamed with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett in 2012 for the long-running Midtown Jazz at Midday concert series at Saint Peter’s in Manhattan and debuted her show Skyscraper Wits in London and New York in 2015.
Maud is the recipient of four Artist Initiative grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, one of which supported the research for her album “Don’t Let A Good Thing Get Away”, comprised of compositions by Broadway composer Michael (Mickey) Leonard. Featuring Tex Arnold, Steve LaSpina, Warren Vaché and Gene Bertoncini, it was recorded at Nola Studios in Steinway Hall, NYC in 2013. Her latest recording “Listening For Your Song”, features music from the pre-Songbook era referred to in the Betsy-Tacy series by Minnesota author Maud Hart Lovelace. Musician and historian Michael Feinstein observed: “Her vocal style is so warm, compelling and intimate—it’s clear she cares about the words and telling the story, with clarity and without artifice—almost a lost art these days.”
Maud received a Next Step Grant from the McKnight Foundation in 2015 and her most recent Artist Initiative Grant funded a big band project in 2017. In 2016 she made her second appearance at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center in a tribute to singer Sylvia Syms, hosted by Rex Reed and presented by the Mabel Mercer Foundation. After her Chicago debut in 2017, the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich proclaimed, “Hixson stood out as the biggest revelation at the Chicago Cabaret Convention”. This year, she embarks on a new recording project devoted to the songs of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.
“Maud Hixson is one of the best, most sensitive and creative song stylists to come out of the pages of the Great American Songbook in the last decade. She has taste and sophistication, she is full of surprises, and boy can she sing!”
“Her vocal style is so warm, intimate and compelling–it’s clear that she cares about the words and telling the story, with clarity and without artifice–practically a lost art these days.”
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, Pianist, Singer, Historian
“Hixson’s slightly gauzy tone and breezy phrasing evoked cool-school singers of the 1950s…there was nothing historic nor nostalgic about Hixson’s manner, her inherent swing sensibility driving the music unstoppably forward…it was the sound of Hixson’s voice and the alacrity of her approach to rhythm that left the deepest impression.”
HOWARD REICH, Chicago Tribune
“Maud knows how to sing to you. Her style is so efficient, moving and always true to the meaning of the lyric and the integrity of a great melody. It makes her liberties all the more expressive. It’s refreshing to hear a great singer who knows it’s really all about the song.”
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Singer/Songwriter Guitarist
“Maud is a very special young lady with a great gift to communicate to her audience. Her voice is so beautiful. She has the magic.”
SANDY STEWART, Singer
“I think she’s the new Peggy Lee; a young singer out of the Midwest. If you like cool, artful storytelling in jazz, check her out!”
AMANDA MCBROOM, Singer/Songwriter (“The Rose”)
“Maud sounds wonderful. Strong and sure and musical. She’s got an honesty that is real and comes across easily. She is a talented lady. Working with her is a pleasure.”
WARREN VACHÉ, Cornetist
“The simplicity and grace of her singing is stunning.”
“An acknowledged interpreter of lyrics, Hixson shines on every cut. In a breezy, confident delivery, the purity of Hixson’s alto is understated and crystalline. This further enhances her polished phrasing, especially on the most intimate lyric…”