Monk-in-Motion Series To Spotlight Vocal Competition Winners


Jazzmeia Horn will performa at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Feb. 20 as part of the “Monk-In-Motion” series.

(Photo: Coutresy of BMCC Tribeca PAC)

The top three finalists from the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition will perform in separate concerts with their respective bands at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center as part of the “Monk-In-Motion” concert series.

The winner of the competition, Jazzmeia “Jazz” Horn, will perform with her band on Feb. 20. In March, first runner-up Veronica Swift (March 5) and second runner-up Vuyo Sotashe (March 19) will also give concerts at the venue, located on the campus of the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

The 2015 competition was held Nov. 15 at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre. Hosted by pianist Herbie Hancock, the event featured performances by a diverse group of jazz all-stars, including George Benson, Wayne Shorter and Jimmy Heath. The distinguished judges included vocalists Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Freddy Cole, Al Jarreau and Luciana Souza.

Horn, a Dallas native, impressed the judges with her renditions of “Moanin’” and “Detour Ahead.” Since winning the competition, the vocalist has earned a reputation as a dynamic musician with a soulful sound.

First runner-up Swift, a Virginia native, has two albums as a leader under her belt, in addition to several festival appearances and headlining performances at major clubs such as Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C.

Sotashe, the competition’s second runner-up, hails from South Africa. He won first prize at the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2014. More recently, he won the Audience prize award and placed second overall at the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in 2015.

As finalists in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, Horn, Swift and Sotashe join an esteemed roster of artists whose careers were launched by the high-profile event. Past finalists include saxophonist Joshua Redman, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Ben Williams and vocalist Jane Monheit.

The BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center is located at 199 Chambers Street in Manhattan. For more information, visit the organization’s website.

To read a review of the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which Melissa Aldana became the first female instrumentalist to win the event, click here.

  • 23_Village_Vanguard_Joey_Baron_by_Michael_Jackson_copy.jpg

    “Bill Stewart has nothing to prove,” Baron says. “I aspire to that ethic.”

  • 23_Charles_Lloyd_1_by_Dorothy_Darr.jpg

    “At this point in my life I’m still looking for the note,” Lloyd says. “But I’m a little nearer.”

  • McBride__Kahn_copy.jpg

    ​Christian McBride and writer Ashley Kahn meet for a DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

  • Samara_Joy_%C2%A92023_Mark_Sheldon-4639.jpg

    Samara Joy brought fans to their feet in the middle of her Newport set!

  • Christian_McBride_by_Ebru_Yildiz.jpeg

    ’You can’t simply book a festival with things that you like,” Christian McBride says of the Newport Jazz Festival. “You have a responsibility to present up-and-coming artists who people don’t know yet. And you have to get people in the seats.”