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Jazzmeia Horn Brings 'Love and Liberation' to Singers Unlimited, in Words and in Deeds

Jonathan Chimene

Jazzmeia Horn celebrates her new album with a concert at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday, Sept. 9 — but before that, she and her band stopped by WBGO for a talk and performance on Singers Unlimited. 

At the first Sarah Vaughan vocal competition in 2012, Jazzmeia Horn was presented as a Rising Star — and she blew the roof off of NJPAC. At the second Sarah Vaughan vocal competition in 2013, she was the winner. And she also won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2015. 

Credit Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

She’s been busily singing jazz ever since, all around the world. She’s got chops. She’s got smarts. Jazzmeia was very much inspired by Sarah, and showed extraordinary range and musical versatility on her debut album, A Social Call. Ballads. Vocalese. Gospel uplifters. Soul classics. And much more. Opening the album with "Tight" also showed the DNA of Betty Carter in Jazzmeia’s voice and spirit.  

She’s joined on her new album, Love and Liberation, by fellow winners of the Monk competition, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jamison Ross. And another dimension of her artistry appears on her new album: she’s a thoughtful and witty songwriter. 

Here is an original from the new album, "When I Say."

Audio mix and video edit: Corey Goldberg
Videography: David Tallacksen

Michael Bourne was a presence on the air at WBGO between the end of 1984 and the start of 2022, when he retired from full time hosting duty. He is the host of the Singers Unlimited Podcast by WBGO Studios. Previously, he hosted the popular Singers Unlimited (1985-2022). He also hosted the equally popular Blues Break for several years. Michael is a senior contributor to Down Beat, with the magazine since 1969. Doctor Bourne earned a PhD in Theatre from Indiana University -- which comes in handy when he's a theatre critic for the WBGO Journal.