Thelonious Monk Institute International Vocal Competition

I was so pleased to have appeared as a Semi-Finalist in the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition in Los Angeles last month.

The competitors came from all over the world (I was the only one from Australia and New Zealand). I had a great time performing my set with a house rhythm section in front of a judging panel and an audience at UCLA.

This year’s judges include the esteemed singers Freddy Cole, Al Jarreau, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin and Luciana Souza.

The finals were held at the spectacular Dolby Theatre, followed by a gala concert honouring the producer Quincy Jones with the Monk Institute’s 2015 Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award. Quincy’s lengthy speech was so emotional and inspiring.

The hosts for the concert included Herbie Hancock, the “Family Guy” creator and filmmaker (and sometime big-band crooner) Seth MacFarlane and the former NBA star (and full-time jazz fan) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Several of the competition’s judges performed as did the saxophonist Wayne Shorter, the guitarist and singer George Benson, the trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the flutist Hubert Laws, among others.

The fantastic night ended with the audience on their feet singing along as the performers saluted Quincy Jones with a wonderful rendition of “We Are The World” (pictured).

My congratulations to Jazzmeia Horn who was awarded first prize and also to Veronica Swift and Vuyolwethu Sotashe who came second and third (pictured with me.)





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