Lauren Scales placed Second Runner-Up as a Finalist in the 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition! Check out the press release below:
NEWARK, NJ (November 22, 2016) — A distinguished panel of judges and pillars of the jazz community awarded London-based singer Deelee Dubé first place in the fifth annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The search for the next great female jazz vocalist, was held on Sunday, November 20 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival.
As the first-prize winner of the SASSY Award, Dubé receives an exclusive recording contract offer through Concord Music Group, an appearance at the 2017 Montreal International Jazz Festival, and a $5,000 cash award. The second-place winner of the competition was Sinne Eeg from Denmark, who was awarded a $1,500 cash prize, and the third-place winner was New York-based Detroit native Lauren Scales who received $500.
Dubé was among five finalists who performed before a live audience in the arts center’s Victoria Theater and a judging panel consisting of five-time Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves, legendary jazz vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, WBGO’s Sheila E. Anderson, Sirius XM’s Mark Ruffin, and Grammy Award-winning bassist and NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride.
The competition recalls the humble beginnings of legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan who, back in 1942, was a Newark teenager and winner of an amateur singing contest at the Apollo Theater. That memorable night help launch the lifework of one of the most successful, influential jazz vocalists in the history of American music.
“It has been decades since Sarah Vaughan first graced the stage at the Apollo Theater but her memory lives on. That evening, which singlehandedly changed Vaughan’s life, is what we honor through this jazz vocal competition,” says John Schreiber President and CEO of NJPAC. “We are thrilled to offer the next generation of talent a historic opportunity to carry on Sarah Vaughan’s legacy.”
The competition — presented by NJPAC and WBGO JAZZ 88.3 FM — was established in 2012 by NJPAC and music producer Larry Rosen and is powered by Indaba Music, the leading online community of musicians and marketplace for music opportunities.
Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and was presented as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival‘s title sponsor TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is sponsored by PSE&G and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
About Deelee Dubé
An accomplished singer-songwriter, born and raised in London, Deelee Dubé often performs on London’s live music circuit and is the resident singer at saxophonist Renato D’Aiello’s Acoustic Jazz Lounge at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. She has been featured on several collaborative projects with renowned musicians, such as guitarist John Jallow, with whom she released the successful single, “Rainy Day Blues.” Deelee Dubé’s versatile and soulful voice has been heard by audiences throughout Europe and the U.S., and her sound has been compared to such greats as Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.
About Sinne Eeg
Sinne Eeg has earned a loyal and rapidly growing fan base in her native Denmark and around the world for her distinctive vocals and original compositions. Born into a musical family, she studied at the prestigious Danish Music Conservatory and has received numerous awards, including the DR P2 Jazz Prize, four Danish Music Awards (Denmark’s Grammy), the Ben Webster Prize (sole female recipient for the past 30 years), and the Prix du Jazz of the French Academie du Jazz.
About Lauren Scales
Detroit native Lauren Scales, the daughter of acclaimed jazz artists Charles and Gwen Scales, has been performing most of her life. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied with Geri Allen, Ellen Rowe and many other artists, she is currently a songwriting and composition student at New York University. Scales received national recognition for her compositions in the 2016 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center.
About “The Sassy Awards”
Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, also known as the SASSY Awards in a nod to Vaughan’s nickname, is celebrating its fifth year at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. This international jazz vocal competition for women, the only one of its kind, provides a platform for one outstanding performer to embark on a career in the music business. Previous winners include Arianna Neikrug (2014), Ashleigh Smith (2014), Jazzmeia Horn (2013) and Cyrille Aimée (2012), the competition’s first winner.
NJPAC was able to narrow the field to five candidates by holding three preliminary rounds and a public vote (with over 7,500 votes cast) at IndabaMusic.com. Contestants’ audio tracks were assessed on the performer’s talents in reflecting and understanding of Vaughan’s work; vocal quality; musicality; technique; individuality; artistic interpretation; and the ability to swing.
Entrants from 23 different countries such as Armenia, Australia, Mexico, England, Denmark and the United States were represented on the website. A total of 145 were deemed eligible submissions.