Reviews and comments about Tessa:

‘Tessa Takes Home Crowd By Storm’

A GLANCE around the Queens Hall café earlier in Hexham this month showed the universal appeal of jazz to an audience crossing the generations.
The attraction, Tessa Smith, a former pupil at the town’s Queen Elizabeth High School, gave an incomparable performance resonant of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone at their best, but with a twist.
Tessa had adapted many of the classics, some of her improvisation drawing on her school days. After studying jazz at university she is setting out on her career as a jazz singer in the finest of traditions and on this evidence is assured of success.
She has a natural passion and feel for the music, a feature of the evening.
Tessa and her equally talented trio – mention must be made of the lyrical piano playing of Aidan Shepherd – simply enjoyed their music making and shared that pleasure with an equally appreciative audience.
Tessa notably drew on wider influences, new for some, including Kurt Elling, and introduced notes from John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon in particular during her sensitive rendering of the evergreen Sunny.
Equally impressive and destined to become standards were her own compositions of Waves and I don’t like it.
This was a feel good evening lit up by Tessa’s disarming and smiling personality and undoubted talent for jazz, a not-to-be-missed event when she returns, as surely she will if the reception of the audience is any indication.
Tessa’s first and much acclaimed CD Bookmark is now out and marks the start of what promises to be an exciting journey for the artist and her audience alike.
Barrie Dowdeswell

“Sweet sounding and passionate, Tessa is blessed with a great feel for jazz.  With a wonderful choice of material and her honest approach, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from her in the near future.”

And of the album: “I love it! I hope you are proud of this recording. You sound so lovely,
fabulous phrasing, great choice of material. Your sound is sweet and
top notch intonation. I’m very proud of you.
I really love Waves and Bookmark- what great tracks- and originals too
Go for it- Keep doing what you are doing!”


“Upon walking into the Wakefield Jazz Club, my ears were strongly pulled to centre stage to someone singing so beautifully that my ears could not switch off even if I tried; this songstress was Tessa Smith.

“I sat and really listened to her and the exciting group backing her, performing beautiful standards such as Frank Losser’s ‘Never Will I Marry’ and ‘A Time For Love’. What really struck me is if you’d never heard these great standards you’d think they were composed by Ms Smith; she really sang these songs like they were her own, and that’s what really made me listen intensely. She’s also a good composer, singing her own songs which just kept me in my seat – and to think this was just her rehearsal. The performance was out of this world.

“Her latest album ‘Bookmark’ is full of great tracks, standards and originals, very dynamic shades and colours. My favourite is an original penned by Tessa titled ‘Waves’, this very bluesy and melodic. All the musicians on this album play with a lot of subtlety.

“Look out for Tessa Smith for I’m sure she’ll be a name to definitely look out for, you never know our paths may cross once again, only this time performing together on the same stage.“



“I have no hesitation in highlighting Tessa’s skills as a vocalist.   When performing at our diverse events, Tessa has consistently demonstrated professionalism and an ability to connect with a varied audience.

“Tessa has a talent at using individual interpretation with a variety of songs and this, coupled with her naturally warm persona, has continually proved successful with our customers.”

General Manager, Harvey Nichols, Leeds.

“Many thanks for yesterday Tessa.  Everyone was taken with your lovely performance!”


“Thanks so much for your wonderful music at the wedding reception – everyone has mentioned how much they enjoyed listening to you, and we all think you are very talented! It really did make the day so much more special to have you there.”


“We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for singing at our wedding.  You and your band were fantastic and lots of people have commented how great the music was.

Thank you for making the day so memorable.”