Stan Breckenridge is an American singer, soul and jazz pianist, composer, author, and academician. Similar vocalists are Nat King Cole and Will Downing. Ramsey Lewis is a similar soul/jazz pianist. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, USA. He is the 2019 Recipient of Poland’s Amicus Poloniae Award (“Friend of Poland”), which is given annually to American citizens who have advanced Polish-American relations.
Stan Breckenridge has performed and given lecture-performances worldwide in places such as England, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Slovakia, and the Ukraine. United States performances include The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Greek Theater, The Los Angeles Forum, The Los Angeles Sports Arena, The Hollywood Bowl, The Watts Summer Festival, Capitol Records, and on various national TV programs. Stan Breckenridge has appeared with and/or performed for personalities such as Madeleine Albright, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Jennifer Ehle, Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Rosey Grier, Merv Griffin, Rosemary Harris, Mahalia Jackson, Wojciech Karolak, King Curtis Band, Fela Ransome-Kuti, Ketty Lester, Jerry Lewis, Moms Mabley, Larry McCormick, Greg Morris, Martha Reeves (of the Vandellas), Rowan & Martin, David Ruffin (of the Temptations), Avery Schrieber, Bernie Shaw, Nancy Sinatra, O.C. Smith, Bobby Taylor, Lea Thompson, John Travolta, John Wayne, Bobby Womack, Jimmy Witherspoon, and many others.
Some recent performances include two appearances on Dzień Dobry TVN (November 2020 and February 2021), four appearances on Jaka to Melodia, both of which are popular programs in Poland; an appearance for WOŚP – Poland’s largest charity organization for pediatric and elderly care; and a feature performance for the Polish-American Military Picnic titled “Always close by, Safe together”, organized on the occasion of the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Just recently, in February 2021, Stan Breckenridge and Basia Gąsienica Giewont recorded a song written by Breckenridge titled “Loving You.” They premiered it on Dzień Dobry TVN February 18th. Also in 2021, an album titled Polish Songs developed by Józef Eliasz and the Eljazz Big Band, features Stan Breckenridge singing popular songs, in English, composed by beloved Polish composers. In 2020, Stan Breckenridge most recently composed and released seven singles that reflect the year of COVID-19. These include “Nostalgia,” “The Battle: Race Against Time,” “It Changed My Life,” “A Night in Vienna,” “Waterfall No.2,” “Eternal Hope,” and “Ready to Play.” In 2020 composed and recorded a piece titled “A New Beginning”, that commemorated the First Inauguration of the Schools of Language and Literature Sciences at the University of Adam Mickiewicz, Poznań. Stan Breckenridge has eleven albums: Stan Breckenridge Performs Jazz, Blues, Rhythm & Blues, and Soul (April 15, 2019), Black and Tan Fantasy (2017 with Jazz Band Ball Orchestra), Inspirations (2014), Out of Love for Jazz (2012), Reflections (2009), A Soulful Christmas (2008), This is My Song (2007), Live in Poland (2005), Solo (2003), Meditations (2001), and Expositions (1999).
In addition to performance, Dr. Breckenridge is a visiting Professor in the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. Prior to this he was the Department Chair of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Breckenridge was selected as a United States Distinguished Chair Fulbright Scholar to Poland for the 2012–2013 and 2013-2014, where he taught at the University of Marie Curie Sklodowska in Lublin, and Jagiellonian University in Kraków, respectively. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar to Poland in 2005. Dr. Breckenridge has authored three textbooks: Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents (3rd edition, 2018); Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit (3rd edition, 2015); and African American Music for Everyone: Including Theater, Film and Dance (3rd edition, 2014). A new text on African American music with two additional authors is expected to be published by the end of 2021.