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Christine Fawson Returns to the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition, and to WBGO

Courtesy of the artist

After placing third in the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Christine Fawson returns this year with renewed energy and focus.

Not only does she sing, she also plays trumpet and flugelhorn; for 14 years, she was a member of the brass faculty at Berklee College of Music. When she sings, she mimics the sound of her horn. So much so that she can often be seen mocking the fingering of key changes on an imaginary trumpet as she vocalizes. 

Credit WBGO
Christine Fawson, right, with WBGO's Keanna Faircloth

Fawson has worked and toured with everyone from Adele to the Disney Corporation. A former member of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, she has released four albums, the most recent being Christine Fawson Sings Jazz, from 2018.

When asked to name her favorite tune associated with Sarah Vaughan, she chose “If I Were a Bell.” Here is her version of the Dizzy Gillespie standard “A Night in Tunisia.”

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. Christine says she is excited to take part in the competition for a second time and looks forward to gleaning from the musicians as well as her fellow finalists. 

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.