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Meet Daniela Spalletta on Afternoon Jazz, Before the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition

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Courtesy of the artist

Daniela Spalletta is a prime example of music being a universal language. The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition brings her to the United States for the very first time in her life.

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Credit WBGO
Daniela Spalletta, right, with WBGO's Keanna Faircloth

Born in Sicily, she was introduced to jazz through her uncle, a guitarist. Upon hearing “Laura” from the classic album Charlie Parker with Strings, her interest was piqued.

Since then, Daniela has become a fixture on the jazz scene in her homeland and across Europe. She’s already garnered multiple international jazz awards, and in 2015 she received a full scholarship to study in the Masters in Contemporary Performing Arts program at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia. She now teaches at several music conservatories in Italy, when she isn't performing at jazz festivals across Europe.

Here is a recent performance and interview at the JazzIt Fest in Pompei.

When asked to name her favorite tune associated with Sarah Vaughan, she chose “The Man I Love.” The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition takes place on Sunday at 3 p.m. at NJPAC, as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival. Daniela says she is excited for the potential opportunity to break into the American jazz festival circuit as a result of her participation in this prestigious competition. 

Keanna Faircloth is a Washington, DC native and comes to WBGO getting her start on-air at WPFW 89.3 FM in 2003, most recently as the host of Late Night Jazz: The Continuum Experience. She is a graduate of Howard University having majored in Music History with a minor in Classical Piano. Keanna has written for NPR Music, and worked for Radio One as an on-air personality, producer and voice-over talent. She is also the creator and host of Artimacy Podcast, where she has interviewed artists like Wynton Marsalis, Matthew Whitaker, Jonathan Butler, and Dionne Warwick. As a result, she was recognized by Radio Ink Magazine as a 2019 African American leader in radio.