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Gabrielle Cavassa

Gabrielle Cavassa is a California-born vocalist-composer of Italian descent, now based in New Orleans. Her distinctive voice and intimate expression have garnered widespread recognition, including being crowned co-winner of the 2021 International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition.

Cavassa’s early love for music started when she began collecting and “obsessively listening” to records at a young age. Her expression reflects a wide range of influences, including the likes of Billie Holiday, Phyllis Hyman, Ornella Vanoni, and Jeff Buckley. Her songwriting confronts challenging topics with a raw and honest approach, as though she’s sharing diary entries with the world.

Her 2020 critically acclaimed recording debut, co-produced by GRAMMY-nominated artist and collaborator Jamison Ross, features fellow genre-bending artists such as Braxton Cook and Ashlin Parker. Cavassa’s second studio album is set to release in 2023, eagerly anticipated by her growing fanbase.


2021 Winner of The International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition 2018 Finalist of The International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition


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After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1986, Joshua Redman (son of jazz legend Dewey Redman) won a full scholarship to Harvard, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1991. He was accepted at Yale Law School to become a lawyer. Instead, he embarked on a musical career which quickly turned luminous. He won the Thelonious Monk Institute's prestigious jazz saxophone competition in 1991, before moving to Brooklyn, becoming part of the thriving scene there. His debut album, Joshua Redman ...

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This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. For the first time in its nine-year history, the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition named two winners of its annual contest: 26-year-old Gabrielle Cavassa of jny: New Orleans and 25-year-old Tawanda Seussbrich-Joaquim of jny: Los Angeles. The finals for the 2020 competition, originally scheduled for November 2020, were postponed by the pandemic and held on June 6, 2021, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. At April's socially-distanced ...

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"[Cavassa is] a producers dream. She has a truly original approach to the music which is quite refreshing and much needed. " —Gary Walker, WBGO "“An extraordinary interpreter of song.. she surely had the audience hanging on to her every word” —Raul da Gama, Toronto Music Report "unpredictable and deeply intimate performance" —Offbeat "A very distinctive voice" —WBGO "Cavassa wielded her light, supple voice like a paintbrush as she colorfully played with time, lyrics, phrasing and melody." —Michael Barris, Downbeat

Ben Webster
saxophone, tenor





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