Tessa Souter - Preview Show for Picture in Black and White at the Regattabar
Born in London of English and Trinidadian parents, Harlem-based vocalist-composer, Tessa Souter, "may have been genetically predisposed to the blend of cultures reflected in her music, which contains Middle Eastern, Brazilian and flamenco elements in an airy jazz framework." (Philadelphia City Paper). Heralded by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the few exceptional standouts in the crowded field of female jazz singers", Tessa's "truly beautiful voice" (Sirius Radio) and penchant for exploring music mostly untouched by other singers have set her apart as "one of the finest and most fearless vocalists to have emerged in recent years." (Boston Globe). Picked by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle as the "one show overall not to miss" at the 2017 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (her sixth appearance), the Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star "shimmers in the dark" says the London Sunday Times - who placed her latest album, Beyond the Blue (Venus-Motema), featuring jazz interpretations of classical repertoire with her own "exhilaratingly mature lyrics" (Neil Tesser, Chicago Examiner), # 6 on the Best Albums of 2013 along with Gregory Porter (# 3) and Stacey Kent (#10).
Tessa has performed all over the world, including Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Mezzrow, the Blue Note, Jazz Standard and Joe's Pub, New York; Pizza on the Park, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott's and the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, UK, Blue Brass, Palermo, Italy, Dr Gab's in Geneva, Switzerland; four sold out tours of the philharmonic halls of Russia; and six appearances at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, where her 2015 Kilbourn Hall performance was chosen from over 1,000 festival performers to be one of only four concerts to be filmed by PBS Television that year. Her invariably standing-room-only monthly residency at Greenwich Village's iconic 55 Bar is in its 14th year.
She has made four critically-acclaimed CDs as a leader, including two for the Japanese label, Venus, and two for the multi-Grammy-nominated Motéma label. She also appears on legendary bassist Charnett Moffett`s Spirit of Sound (Motéma) album and on French singer Pascalito's upcoming The Picture of Rafael Ohayon. She is currently working on her upcoming release, Picture in Black and White - a tribute to the ancestors of her mixed race heritage. "Finding out at the age of 28 that my father was black was a seismic shift in consciousness," she says. "Luckily, I had music to help me express it." Whether performing at the Philharmonic halls of Russia or in the intimacy of a New York jazz club, the Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star "... is a beguiling artist who infuses everything she interprets with voluptuous intelligence and keen emotional insight." (KQED Arts). "Best of all, she delivers it with a wit and a wink worthy of the toniest joints in town." (Time Out New York)