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Jazzmobile Vocal Competition 2008; Queen Esther Takes the Night!


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2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition

Harlem's River Room was packed with onlookers, excited to see the results of the final round of the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition. Every seat was reserved, the bar was full and even outside, many fans had taken a drink and accented to watching the performances through the large open windows. The prestigious judges, Dr. Billy Taylor, T.S. Monk and Eunice Newkirk were in attendance as well as many other important members of the jazz community. Vocalist Alyson Williams was a wonderful choice for MC and opened the night with a song and an energetic greeting.

Then the competition kicked off with the first competitor, LaRe who had a lovely instrument and tone. Next was Danielle Eva whose R&B flavored stylings also had a nice swing feel and good vocal control. Then there was a break in the competition and the 2007 Winner Alexis Cole performed two selections which demonstrated her passion and love for the music.

After intermission Emilio Cruz sang, to much applause and ooh's from the ladies who loved his crooning smooth style. The last contestant was Queen Esther whose phrasing and involvement with the lyric made her the standout. After was another selection from the MC and an incredible blues jam with all the contestants, during which Williams really shined in her best element. Alexis Cole finished the night with a compelling and original rendition of Bob Marley's Redemption Song. Cole was presented with her award from last year, and then it was time to announce the winners.

The decision went as most people in the room suspected it would. The runner up was Emilio Cruz, and the creative and voluptuous Queen Esther took the stage to become the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition Winner!

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