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Sassy win for Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim

Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim in a tie were the winners of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the ninth running of the awards. Judges were Christian McBride, …

Published: 9 Jun 2021. Updated: 15 days.

Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim in a tie were the winners of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the ninth running of the awards. Judges were Christian McBride, Carmen Lundy, Vanessa Rubin, Chuck Mitchell and Robert Ottenhoff.

Gabrielle Cavassa originally from California is based in New Orleans and has toured with Adonis Rose & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim is from New Mexico and is inspired by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Esperanza Spalding and Jazzmeia Horn.

Also among the finalists were Benny Benack and Hailey Brinnel.

More at the sarahvaughancompetition.com site

Gabrielle Cavassa, top

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On Bones Michael Mayo drives the art of jazz vocals up to new heights

Extraordinary sounds from Michael Mayo on Bones (out now on Mack Avenue) it's clear. There are elements of lots of people but his approach is more than the sum of its many parts. Mayo certainly has the skill of a Sachal Vasandani and the flair and …

Published: 8 Jun 2021. Updated: 16 days.

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Extraordinary sounds from Michael Mayo on Bones (out now on Mack Avenue) it's clear. There are elements of lots of people but his approach is more than the sum of its many parts. Mayo certainly has the skill of a Sachal Vasandani and the flair and mastery of a Kurt Elling. In terms of sheer vocal acrobatics yes there is a little of Bobby McFerrin in his approach and fans of Jacob Collier will find something of interest in the singer's debut especially in the polyphonic spree of the production and the singer's sprawling capturing of vocal adventure.

art7074_michael_mayo_by_shervin_lainez_300dpi_rgb_pr11__medium The improvising at the heart of his sound when Mayo breaks free from strict melody makes him stand out so much. From Los Angeles, Mayo attended the New England Conservatory of Music and become only the third vocalist accepted by the Thelonious Monk Institute where he was mentored by Herbie Hancock and with whom he later toured. The only difficult task is to select just one track from a groundbreaking album. But for sheer life force and exuberance it's got to be his original song and arrangement, 'Stolen Moments.' Michael Mayo, top. Photo: Shervin Lainez