WBGO Interviews 5 Sarah Vaughan Finalists

Nov 18, 2018 — WBGO 

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‘..The competition, also known as the Sassy Awards, shines a light on rising jazz vocalists from around the world. Its finals took place Sunday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, as a capstone to this year’s TD James Moody Jazz Festival.’

‘..Gabrielle Cavassa began her career in San Francisco, performing at jazz clubs like Club Deluxe, Black Cat, Small Wonder and Yoshi’s. She studied at San Francisco State University, then moved to New Orleans to further her lifelong study of music.’

Link to full article and interviews below


2018 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition


Honored to share the stage with Laurin Talese, Oleg Akkuratov, & Olivia Chindamo! <3

Nov 19, 2018 — Downbeat Magazine

‘..The competition was notable for both the high level of skill and the diversity of vocal styles it showcased. “This year’s class of singers are unique in their styles, but in their voices you can hear the history and respect for [the artists who] came before,” said NJPAC CEO John Schreiber, noting that the styles on display were an encouraging sign for jazz.’

Link to full article http://downbeat.com/news/detail/laurin-talese-wins-sarah-vaughan-vocal-competition

NJPAC Announces 2018 Sarah Vaughan Competition Finalists




Oct 24, 2018 — JazzTimes

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center has announced the five jazz vocalists who will compete in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. in Newark’s Victoria Theater.

This year’s finalists are: Russian-born pianist and singer Oleg Akkuratov; New Orleans-based vocalist Gabrielle Cavassa; Australian singer Olivia Chindamo; Las Vegas-based singer Toscha Comeaux; and Philadelphia-based vocalist Laurin Talese.

The singers will perform before a panel of judges including jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon; music manager and consultant Mary Ann Topper; WBGO radio host Sheila Anderson; trumpeter Jon Faddis; and bassist Christian McBride, who also serves as NJPAC’s jazz advisor.

The winner of the competition will receive $5,000 along with a performance slot at the 2019 Newport Jazz Festival. Past winners include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Ashleigh Smith, and Quiana Lynell, who took home the prize last year.

The competition, which began in 2012 and is also known as the SASSY Awards, will take place on the final day of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Gabrielle Cavassa sings Billie Holiday


Wow! Join me in honoring (my absolute favorite) Billie Holiday in a 5 night residency at the historic Little Gem!!!

‘Jazz historians have long considered the 400 block of South Rampart Street the birthplace of jazz. The Little Gem Saloon was first opened in 1903, taking its place among other jazz clubs that have long been lost to the past including The Eagle Saloon and the Iroquois Theater.  No other single location is more significant to the founding and evolution of jazz than this one.  During its time the Little Gem Saloon served as a popular watering hole for early jazz legends like Buddy Bolden, Freddie Keppard and Jelly Roll Morton until closing its doors in 1909.’

Featuring the unmatched trio — Irvin Mayfield on trumpet, John Diaz on saxophone, and Ron Markham on piano. <3