Mere words can only capture the refrain of her awesome talent. Maria Howell is much more. She is the ballad of beauty and elegance. The melodies flowing from the petite vocalist are truly amazing. While casting a spellbinding smile, she mesmerizes her captive audience with incredible harmonies and rhythms.
Howell's signature film performance as the choir soloist in the movie "The Color Purple" was quoted by one critic as being "one of the film's most stirring moments!" Her rendition of "God Is Trying to Tell You Something" was memorable for all who saw it, but the offerings of the all-grown-up Maria are truly unforgettable, eliciting more stirring moments, one after another.
Some may be inspired to call her best kept secret, but anyone who leaves an imprint on every medium from radio, stage and television to the Hollywood screen is hardly incognito.
Howell's talent has been featured as a nightclub singer "Goldie", in "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", produced by George Lucas (Chicago and NY episodes, which also features veteran actor Keith David). Other roles on the small screen include "Linda", where she plays alongside master performers Richard Thomas (The Waltons) and Virginia Madsen (Sideways) and in "Scattered Dreams" with Tyne Daly (Judging Amy) and Alicia Silverstone (Clueless and Beauty Shop).
Her credibility as a true thespian flourished when she nailed a coveted role as the daughter of Maya Angelou's character in Langston Hughes' "Tambourines to Glory" stage play. She has worked with famed actor, director and producer, Tyler Perry in film, "Daddy's Little Girls" and in his TV sitcoms "Meet the Browns" and "House of Payne" (TBS).
She has appeared alongside actress Regina King, as her best friend in Lifetime Television's "Living Proof", starring Harry Connick, Jr. More credits she adds to her resume are, "Drop Dead Diva" (Lifetime), "Past Life" (FOX), "Vampire Diaries" (CW) and "The Blind Side", starring Sandra Bullock, "The Game" (BET), "Single Ladies" (VH1), "Necessary Roughness" (USA). "What To Expect When You're Expecting", starring Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock and Dennis Quaid. She also appeared in the Hallmark Hall of Fame's TV release of "Firelight", starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., and DeWanda Wise-Miller, where she plays the part of Mrs. Easle. She played the role of "Grace" in Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams, and Jon Favreau's show, "Revolution" now on Netflix.
Maria adds to her credits, the role of Atty Ida Hayes, alongside Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), and Susan Lucci in Marc Cherry’s, "Devious Maids"(Season 1), and "Hunger Games: Catching Fire", where she plays the part of "Seeder" (District 11). Zane's "Addicted" (role of Nina), as Bird's mom Delilah, on MTV's hit show, "Finding Carter". A very fun holiday movie that debuted at the 18th Annual Urban World Film Festival 2014, "Christmas Wedding Baby", (Miranda), followed by its TV premiere on BET, now on Netflix (by award-winning director Kiara C. Jones). in 2015, Maria completed filming on two projects. Writer/Director, Shea Sizemore's "The Next Day", about a couple processing grief on INSP TV's Moments.org, and "Sons 2 The Grave", a film directed by famed actor, Mykelti Williamson - well known as "Bubba" in Forest Gump and "Underground". She has worked with David Duchovny on NBC's "Aquarius", and Lt. Hawkins on Bounce TV’s hit show, "Saints & Sinners” (Seasons 1 and 2) and Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots" (OWN). She plays Ms. Sumner in the blockbuster feature film, "Hidden Figures"starring Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Costner, and Octavia Spencer.
Although acting was a natural artistic segue, singing and entertaining are skills that emanated from Howell as far back as she can remember. She recollects glaring at her six-year-old image in the mirror and knowing at that moment, her destiny was clear. The destiny became a reality as she wowed audiences as the opening act for the legendary Ray Charles, and as she shared the stage with Earth Wind and Fire's point man Phillip Bailey. Performing in front of the likes of Nancy Wilson, Marvin Hamlisch, Will Downing, and George Benson, became her comfort zone - Anyone who swings with the Cab Calloway Orchestra, croons with Baby Face and rearranges the scale with Jeffrey Osborne can not, ought not be boxed into one musical art form.
Like Howell, her music is a collective of sultry, soulful, smooth tones. She not only combines sounds such as R&B with jazzy punctuations, she evokes an international flavor into her flambé of recordings. Her first CD, Peace of Mind, was produced while her celebrity was peaking in Japan. She followed up with another CD shortly after with a U.S. favorite, Same Old Story. After relocating back to the USA, Howell shared the spotlight with several Atlanta artists as a featured vocalist on a compilation, Acoustically Yours. In 2009, Maria released her Holiday Melodies, a Christmas collection of holiday classics and original music. Also, Reflections, is a handpicked collection of her favorite recordings. Her most recent recording is a collaboration with the Noel Friedline Quartet titled, “Old Devil Moon”, which includes a list of traditional favorites, that showcases her love of swing and sultry ballads.
See Events Calendar for upcoming performances and appearances.
LAAC Thursday Night JAZZ SALON
April 20, 2017 - 7pm-9:30pm
May 11, 2017 - 7pm-9:30pm
May 18, 2018 - 7pm-9:30pm
431 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Parking garage address - 646 S. Olive St.
THE JAZZ CORNER
w/The Noel Friedline Quartet
Friday & Saturday - April 28 & 29, 2017 - 8pm
1 Wexford Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC
Manager - Brad Stokes
Voiceover Representation - Ferenc Lacko
Commercial Representation - Rachele Fink
East Coast Representation - Brenda Pauley
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