Vocalist Tessa Souter’s musical range is so broad that I hate that most music critics have placed her in the annals already as an up-and-coming jazz vocalist. Her third release ‘Obsession’ for the Motema Music label is just the opposite of that. Tessa hits the ground running with her renditions of songs ranging from Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue,” Brazilian vocalist and writer Milton Nascimento’s “Vera Cruz” and “Make This City Ours Tonight,” and Lennon and McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby.” See, what people have to understand about Tessa’s gift is she’s a ‘vocal butterfly’ in which she’s blessed to record these great songs and fly away beautifully in making them her own. One minute she’s stretching out vocally with musical styles as flamenco, Middle Eastern, Indian, as well as some traditional forms of jazz music. Her live performances are also what makes her both captivating and stunning as Tessa reaches out to her diverse music fans.
Born and raised in London, England to both English and Trinidadian parents, Tessa developed a love and passion for song as a child. Her mother was very instrumental in playing and listening show tunes that she would sing right along with. Plus, she grew up listening to music of her generation which included artists and groups such as Stevie Wonder, Wayne Shorter, Cream, and the Beatles, material that she covers in her live show.
Tessa didn’t become a vocalist until the mid-1990’s. What many don’t know, Tessa’s a critically-acclaimed writer and journalist. She was one of the founders of the San Francisco based ‘The Writer’s Grotto’, a collective of writers and freelance journalists that served as a springing board to perfect their craft as well as develop their base. During the late 1990’s she moved to New York City where she began singing in local clubs. But as luck would have it, she won and accepted a scholarship to New York’s Manhattan School of Music. When she left, she met jazz vocalist Mark Murphy where he took her under his wing.
Currently Tessa’s on the road and is about to record her upcoming project. To order her latest disc “Obsession” or to find out her upcoming tour dates, visit her on the web at tessasouter.com.