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“A singer and composer blessed with wide-ranging vocals and a post-bop sensibility, through which she filters sounds from West Africa, South America, the Caribbean and Andalusian Spain.” LONDON EVENING STANDARD, JAZZ ALBUM OF THE WEEK.

“Raises songs to the level of poetry.” SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE, TOP TEN JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The second of her albums to be picked as a London Sunday Times magazine Jazz CD of the year, Tessa Souter’s Picture in Black and White, which made several Top Ten lists, was inspired by her discovery, upon meeting him at age 28, that her estranged birth father was black. She had been brought up to believe that he was white, and had died before she was born. The album, a tribute to her hidden ancestors, is a riveting journey tracing the artist’s “musical DNA” from Africa to the Caribbean, Celtic Britain and Andalusian Spain, via the music of Wayne Shorter (who granted her shared writing credit on  ‘Ana Maria’), Ornette Coleman, Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow, Milton Nascimento, Ayub Ogada, U2 and more. 

“… singularly powerful collection . . . It is impossible not to be transfixed by the inventiveness and potency of Souter’s artistry.” JAZZWISE

“Must-see” TIME OUT NEW YORK “World class” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Tessa has performed all over the world, including SF Jazz, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Blue Note (New York, Beijing and Shanghai), Joe’s Pub, Pizza Express,  Ronnie Scott’s, Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, the Jazz Bakery, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and more. A six-time festival favorite at the Xerox International Jazz Festival, her 2017 appearance there was singled out by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, from a star-studded roster, as “the one show not to miss” over the entire nine-day festival. She has made four sold out tours of the Russian philharmonic halls as featured guest of Russian piano star, Daniel Kramer, most recently in January-February 2019, receiving standing ovations at each show and stopping off on the way home for a sold out debut at Club Opus in Budapest with the Norbert Kael Trio. Her 15-year monthly residency at Greenwich Village’s iconic 55 Bar in New York is frequently standing room only.

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TRACKS

CONTEMPLATION (ANCESTORS) – PICTURE IN BLACK AND WHITE (2018)

A TASTE OF HONEY – PICTURE IN BLACK AND WHITE (2018)

THE PEACOCKS – LISTEN LOVE (2004)

Blue Note, New York: Singing Beyond the Blue (Chopin’s Prelude in E minor with Tessa’s lyrics) . Band:  Tessa Souter Kenny Werner, Joel Frahm, Sean Smith, Billy Drummond, Will Holshouser
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Caravan. Filmed by PBS. Band:  Tessa Souter, Dana Leong, Adam Platt, Keita Ogawa
Cafe Mumbo Jumbo, Kobe, Japan, Sound check w/Caravan. Band: Tessa Souter, Hristo Vitchev