Tessa Souter at 55 Bar Friday, January 12 at 6 PM (Special Iaje Performance One Set Only Free-No Cover)


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Spiros Exaras - guitar & Kahlil Kwame Bell - percussion

55 Bar
Friday, January 12th at 6 pm
(between 6th & 7th Ave.)
Greenwich Village, New York City
Subway: #1 or 9, Christopher Street Station
(212) 929 9883

Tessa Souter, recently called a singer of “extraordinary authenticity and musical sophistication" and “a must-see for lovers of world class jazz vocalizing" by the Los Angeles Times (September 2006), will be performing ONE SET ONLY at the 55 Bar on Friday, January 12 at 6 pm, before heading off to London to headline at Pizza on the Park.

Born of Trinidadian and English parents, New York-based vocalist, composer, and lyricist Tessa Souter (soo-ter) infuses jazz with the soul and passion of flamenco, Indian and Middle Eastern music. “There's no one doing what Tessa does," enthused critic Will Friedwald. “One of the most imaginatively programmed vocal sets of recent memory." said the Los Angeles Times, in a rave review of her California debut at the Catalina Bar and Grill in 2002. The Philadelphia Inquirer raved about her “amazing" debut CD Listen Love and her “crystal-clear voice with diamond-cut phrasing and slight tinge of melancholy." And it's not just the critics who admire her. Soul jazz singer Jon Lucien said of Listen Love, “Magnificent! I couldn't stop playing it over and over. She blew me away!" Her one- time mentor Mark Murphy says of her, “She is a complete musician ... extraordinary and moving." Sheila Jordan says, “She's at the top of my list of great talent. I love her voice. She really moves me." Howard Johnson says she is “an important musician ... whose brilliant lyrics and songs make her stand out from the pack so very much, not to mention how well she sings other people's material."

Taught to sing at the age of three by her mother, Tessa took up the guitar at 12. She was encouraged in her early teens to pursue a singing career, but took a detour - early motherhood, university and journalism. In 1992, she moved to San Francisco, where she wrote for the British press, including Vogue, Elle, The Guardian and The Times, and became one of the original six members of The Writer's Grotto, along with Po Bronson (who cites her in his best seller What Should I Do With My Life), Ethan Canin, Ethan Watters, Josh Kornbluth and David Munro. After moving to New York in 1996, she started sitting in at jazz jams, before winning a scholarship to study at New York's Manhattan School of Music in 1998. She left to study privately with jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy. Since her professional debut in 1999 Tessa has performed with some of the world's jazz greats, including Mark Murphy, Joe La Barbera, Marvin Sewell, Larry Koonse, Latin Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria and jazz tuba legend Howard Johnson. WNPK Radio FM says: “It's hard to believe she only recently became a vocalist, because she sings with the authority and passion that usually comes from long experience." To quote Los Angeles-based guitarist Larry Koonse, “Tessa Souter has all the qualities I value most in a musician: great time, beautiful phrasing, gorgeous sound, a respect for silence, an emotional connection to the moment, and a wonderful ability to tell a story. She is the 'real thing' in every way."

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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