Smooth sultry vocalist…Get ready to be enchanted.“ -Coleman Hawkins Jazz Society
Eboni Fondren is more than a smooth and sultry songstress. Singing is her pure joy; her outlet and escape from the pressures of the world. It is a way she can proclaim her love for someone without them knowing it. Through music, she tells off that ex-boyfriend, or announces a yearning for companionship without shame or fear. She touches hearts, and brings joy to all who listen.
Originally hailing from Chicago, Fondren now claims Kansas City as her home. The impressionable years of her life were spent singing in her father’s basement recording studio. She honed her skills as a dancer and actor participating in school theater, local television commercials and area talent shows. In high-school she became heavily involved in musical theater, student activities and sports which ultimately led to a very successful college career. It is also here where her love affair with jazz music began.
After graduating college she moved to Kansas City and found her way into the local jazz jams at some of hottest clubs in town. She became a local favorite at the infamous Jardine’s and the former Jilly’s on Broadway and it was there that she met the world renowned Everette DeVan. This fateful meeting led to a 10+ year musical partnership and friendship that helped her grow into one of Kansas City’s shining stars.
While performing at Kansas City’s own Blue Room, Fondren was “discovered” by a representative from the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. After a phone call and a few auditions later, she was offered her first professional theatre show In the spring of 2012 making her debut as "Ronnette" in “Little Shop of Horrors.” After "Little Shop...", she landed steady work in the professional theatre circuit with local and regional roles in productions like “Hairspray”, "A Christmas Carol", "Bud, Not Buddy", "Aint' Misbehavin", and "Les Miserables" . She was signed to Exposure Model and Talent agency around the same time and you can now hear her voice as the national in theater voice for AMC Theaters.
In November of 2012, Fondren was invited to sing with the Salina Symphony. Under the direction of Ken Hakoda, Fondren, along with the full orchestra, performed a tribute to the Armed Forces with a medley of classic jazz standards. With selections like "Orange Colored Sky" and "Summertime" she was a crowd pleaser, but it was her rendition of Etta James's "At Last" that brought them to their feet and her to tears. In her own words "This was a bucket list item and It was the most amazing feeling to be surrounded by all that instrumentation and know that it is just for you. Speechless."
Fondren has become a veteran in the Kansas City music scene and is probably the busiest and hardest working woman in town. She works regularly with a small core group of musicians which allows her to explore all of the layers of her dynamic style. She easily moves from pop singer in her cover band "Lost Wax" , to seasoned songstress when accompanied by veterans like Joe Cartwright and Charles Williams. She is a sassy and playful lyricist with her trio "Eboni & The Ivories" and an outright ballsy blues belter when her mentor Mr. Everette Devan is on the Hammond B-3. As a co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show 12th Street Jump, she gets to flex her comedy chops as well as her radio experience from back in college.
Versatile is an understatement when it comes to the type of entertainer she is. Stay tuned for many more exciting projects to come for one of Kansas City's darlings of Jazz.
"Her precise readings of jazz standards, which she seasons with a dash of R&B, fill a room with energy and delight."- Larry Kopitnick, The Pitch