The 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition winner, Quiana Lynell infuses her classical training with her gospel upbringing and approaches jazz as a storyteller. Her mesmerizing performances can only come about because Quiana believes every word that journeys from her soul. She hits every note with perfect timing and impeccable pitch. If Sam Cooke were alive to hear her performance of his classic, “A Change is Gonna Come,” he might say, “yeah…that is what I meant.”
A graduate from Louisiana State University’s music department, Quiana is able to harness her voice as a true instrument and perform various genres of music while maintaining her own sound.
As a performer, arranger and songwriter, Quiana is making her statement on the music scene. “When I heard Quiana sing, I immediately invited her to share the stage with me in Poland with my band and a 75 piece orchestra. After just one rehearsal, Nona Hendryx (from the iconic R&B group LaBelle) invited her to perform a duet on ‘A Change is Gonna Come.’ Quiana commanded that stage and left us all with the same feeling as my initial thought, ‘who are you and where have you been,'” recalled Blanchard.
This past July, Quiana went into Esplanade Studios in New Orleans to record some tracks with Blanchard (trumpet, synths), Jon Cowherd (piano, organ), Marvin Sewell (guitars), David Pulphus (bass), and Eric Harland (drums, percussion). Some originals and some classics, all uniquely approached to breathe a new purpose, a new sound into these melodies.
Don’t be the last to discover what Europe, many musicians and concert promoters already know, Quiana Lynell is on her way to becoming one of the most important vocal discoveries in jazz.