Londoner wins Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition

The former pupil at the Brit School and the Royal Academy of Music has won a record contract with Concord music and a chance to appear at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The winner of this year’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal prize has been announced – and she’s British! Deelee Dubé from South East London sang and collected her award at the New Jersey Center for Performing Arts over the weekend. The former pupil at the Brit School and the Royal Academy of Music has won a $5000 recording contract with Concord music and a chance to appear at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Judges including singer Dianne Reeves and bassist Christian McBride praised her vocal quality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation and ability to swing!

Deelee flew straight back to the UK and performed upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s on Monday night (21 Nov)

Now in its 5th year, The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition, also known as the SASSY Awards, honours the talent and tradition of the competition’s namesake, providing a platform for one outstanding female jazz singer to launch a career within the music business. Vaughan herself won a singing competition in 1942 at New York’s Apollo Theatre – the prize then was $10 and a week-long engagement to perform. It proved to be the launching point for her incredible career.

Previous prize winners include Jazzmeia Horn (2013) who also was the 2015 winner of the Thelonious Monk Competition, and Cyrille Aimee (2012), whose major label debut in August 2014 was called “a bravura turn, presented with a smile” by The New York Times.

More from Music News