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Jazz is one form of music that transcends most other genres and has done so throughout the ages. Its complexity, off beat rhythms, sophistication and constant desire to improvise and evolve itself courses through its precious origins. Those traditions run deep within the soul of award-winning vocalist Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim and there is no greater gift than seeing her sing her story in full flight.

A vibrant mix of cultural heritages that underpin her every move, Tawanda was raised in the deep south of New Mexico on the border with Texas. She is proudly a first generation American with a mother from Germany and a father from Mozambique. That fusion of intoxicating backgrounds gave her access to music that many do not experience and which will forever stay in her heart. Family gatherings would feature music from Cuba, the South Pacific Islands, the Middle East and France with groups like the Gypsy Kings and Te Vaka providing a constant undercurrent to her early life.

From Sam Mangwana, Angelique Kidjo, Brenda Fassie and Hugh Masekela to the classic composers of Vivaldi and Bach, intertwined with Carole King, James Taylor and beyond; Everything has one essential element in common. Each and every one of them is a true artist in every sense of the word and represents Tawanda’s musical aspiration which is now gathering speed with audiences everywhere.

Gaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, it was there that she fell in love with the show tunes of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Oscar Hammerstein under the watchful gaze of Jazz mentors Mirabai Daniels and Horace Alexander Young. Emerging from that experience as a strong powerful black woman, it is no surprise that she honors the memories of Jazz greats such as Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Anita O'Day.

Always looking forward, Tawanda delves deep into the worldwide jazz scene and explores the multi-genre fusion that can be found in its paradise of riches. That desire to respect not only her peers but the origins of her name which translates as 'we are more' in a Bantu dialect called Shona, has embedded a deep-rooted desire within her to give back to those around her.

Yearning to bring people together in times of increasing polarization, she wants to always deliver a message of collective healing. As a black woman living in a country that still has so much to do to heal the wounds of its oppressive history, she sings for her people. For the women that kept the villages going and supported their families; she embraces their emotions, their deep ancestral indigenous wisdom and it is a narrative through which she lives her life now.

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Album Review

Ivan Lins: My Heart Speaks

Read "My Heart Speaks" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Brazilian singer and composer Ivan Lins has recorded about fifty albums since 1970 but has not recorded one in over ten years. Now, this multiple Latin Grammy-Award winner remerges with the superb and inviting My Heart Speaks, perhaps the most impressive and lush recording of his long, distinguished career. An important feature here is the extraordinary collaboration with the 91-piece Tblisi Symphony Orchestra, the most popular orchestra from the Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe, under the direction of Maestro ...

Album Review

Ivan Lins: My Heart Speaks

Read "My Heart Speaks" reviewed by Katchie Cartwright

My Heart Speaks opens with “Renata Maria," the song of a ravishing woman who emerges from the sea then disappears, leaving her would-be lover to yearn eternally. Ivan Lins composed the piece in 2004 with Chico Buarque in mind (punningly calling it a “Buarquiana brasileira"). Buarque invented the narrative later, presenting his lyric to Lins as a gift, upon the birth of his first grandchild. Kuno Schmid's score sets the scene. Warm orchestral waves wash over Lins' impassioned ...

Radio & Podcasts

Ed Cherry, Jim Self, Eric Gloletz & Tawanda

Read "Ed Cherry, Jim Self, Eric Gloletz & Tawanda" reviewed by Joe Dimino

From a gem on the jazz vocalist front, we begin the 787th episode of Neon Jazz with Tawanda. From there, we hear from a major influence on her in Anita O'Day. We also get a host of new tunes to begin 2023 with John Bailey, Eric Goletz, Keith O'Rourke and guitarist Ed Cherry. We finish things off with another track from the Jazz is Dead series featuring Garrett Saracho. And remember, jazz is very much alive and well. Dig this ...

Bailey's Bundles

October 2022: Smile

Read "October 2022: Smile" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Tawanda Smile Resonance Records 2022 Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, known professionally as Tawanda, tied for first place in the 9th annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held in June 2021. That is fresh talent. Tawanda won this award only a year after making her stage debut, a feat, surpassed only by the aptitude and maturity revealed on her debut recording, Smile. Tawanda seems to go from zero to belonging in the esteemed company of Veronica ...

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Exciting Jazz-Vocal Discovery Tawanda, Winner of the 2021 Sarah Vaughan Competition, Releases Much-Awaited Debut Album 'Smile' on Resonance Records

Exciting Jazz-Vocal Discovery Tawanda, Winner of the 2021 Sarah Vaughan Competition, Releases Much-Awaited Debut Album 'Smile' on Resonance Records

Source: DL Media

On October 28, 2022, Resonance Records, the acclaimed jazz label, will issue the first album by one of the most promising young jazz singers to emerge in years: Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, known simply as Tawanda. The Los Angeles-based vocalist, 26, sings in a cloudless alto with a crystalline shimmer, effortless but unfussy jazz feeling, immaculate musicianship, and a maturity that few of her contemporaries possess. In June of 2021, Tawanda tied for first place with Gabrielle Cavassa in the 9th Annual ...


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

My Heart Speaks

Resonance Records



Resonance Records


Sister Moon

From: Smile
By Tawanda


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