(If you are here from the Future Sounds of Swing Website, I’d suggest clicking HERE for info. 🙂 )
The Tessa Smith Quartet focuses on bringing repertoire often unheard, or unperformed by female jazz vocalists, to the listener. This includes contemporary jazz standards that are rarely heard, as well as Tessa’s original tunes, and standards for which she has written lyrics.
With a strong emphasis on exploration and improvisation within these tunes, the quartet continues to engage audiences whenever and wherever it performs.
“I find the audience have come to expect a certain repertoire from the female jazz vocalist; The American Songbook. There is a great reason for this, as all those well-known Standards have stood the test of time and are wonderful songs – there is little wonder why they are so popular. However, there is a vast wealth of other repertoire that is equally beautiful, meaningful, fun, and enjoyable to sing, that has been overlooked by singers, if not horn players and rhythm sections too. It is my intention and passion to discover these tunes and present them to my audience.”
Since graduating from Leeds College of Music with a BA(hons) in Jazz studies in 2007, and having enjoyed great success in her Performance and Composition electives, Tessa has made a name for herself in and around Leeds as a versatile and enthusiastic vocalist.
During her time at LCM, Tessa performed with many ensembles including the LCM Big Band under the direction of Al Wood, performing in a concert with the late Johnny Dankworth. She also studied with worldclass musicians such as Omar Puente, Anita Wardell, Norma Winstone, Pianist Matthew Bourne and Vocalist Kari Nergaard Bleivik.
In the summer of 2009, Tessa released her debut album, ‘Bookmark’.
“An accomplished debut full of considerable promise.”
IAN MANN – www.thejazzmann.co.uk
Since the album’s release, Tessa has been performing up and down the country, performing in renowned jazz venues such as: Wakefield Jazz Club, Pizza on the Park, Spice of Life, Hifi Club, and The Wardrobe, as well as performing with her quartet at many private events, corporate dinners, weddings and established restaurants.
She has also been featured on BBC Look North, and in various newspapers and magazines in the North of England.