Overview

Meet the powerhouse jazz vocalists of “The Sassy Awards”! In this free online event, GRAMMY® Award-winner Christian McBride will host a conversation with winners of NJPAC’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Hear the fascinating stories of these singers now taking over the music scene—their experiences, their inspirations, what it was like to perform at NJPAC, and how their careers have changed since their big wins.

Featuring “Sassy Award” winners:

  • Cyrille Aimée (2012, first winner) won the first Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2012. The GRAMMY® nominee also won the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and has been called a “rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers” by The New York Times.
  • Jazzmeia Horn (2013) is 2013’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition winner. She also won the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition. She was nominated for GRAMMY® Awards for her first and second albums, A Social Call and Love and Liberation.
  • Quinana Lynell (2017) won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2017. The singer and composer’s debut album, A Little Love, combines soul, gospel, R&B, groove and jazz.
  • Laurin Talese (2018) is the 2018 winner of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and has served as U.S. cultural ambassador with American Music Abroad. Her debut album Gorgeous Chaos was released in 2016.
  • Samara Joy (2019) won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2019 and became an Ella Fitzgerald Scholar in 2020. Not yet 21 years old, she has already performed widely around NYC and is hard at work on her debut album.