Finalists Announced in 8th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition


Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990)

(Photo: William P. Gottlieb)

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Tuesday announced the five finalists in the 8th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition.

Daniela Spalletta, Samara McLendon, Christine Fawson, Viktorija Gečytė and Vivian Sessoms will compete Nov. 24.

A part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, the competition—which also is called The Sassy Awards in reference to Vaughan’s nickname—this year received about 600 submissions from 30 different countries, according to a press release. Judges for the competition this year are Christian McBride, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jane Monheit, Monifa Brown and Matt Pierson.

The competition’s winner is set to be awarded $5,000, as well as being given the opportunity to perform at the 2020 Newport Jazz Festival. Winners from previous years include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Ashleigh Smith, Arianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, Quiana Lynell, and Laurin Talese.

For additional information about the competition, visit The Sassy Awards website. DB