Best Vocal Coach - 2001
No local diva embodies San Francisco's soulful music scene more than veteran jazz singer/vocal coach Faith Winthrop. When North Beach's hungry i was the center of the city's entertainment scene in 1955, Winthrop was its house singer. By 1970 she was tapping her tambourine and leading the feel-good grooves during a five-year stint as director of Glide Memorial Church's choir. Over the years, the Boston native single-handedly supported herself and a daughter by teaching voice lessons in her living room to an eclectic and celebrated group of clients: gay icon Divine, Ben Vereen, Sammy Hagar, Al Jarreau, folk/feminist singer Holly Near, Keanu Reeves, est guru Werner Erhard, and local talents Paula West and Lavay Smith. In 1954 when Winthrop warmed up the mike for Billie Holiday, the blues legend encouraged her to sing. Nearly half a century later she's still in the business, helping others make music of their own, at $65 to $85 an hour.