Quiana Lynell Wins 6th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition

(NEWARK, NJ) -- A distinguished panel of judges and pillars of the jazz community awarded Quiana Lynell first place in the 6th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. The competition to find the next great jazz vocalist was held on Sunday, November 12 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival.

As the first-prize winner of the SASSY Award, Lynell receives an exclusive recording contract offer through Concord Records and a $5,000 cash award. The second-place winner of the competition was Tatiana "LadyMay" Mayfield, who was awarded a $1,500 cash prize, and the third-place winner was Christine Fawson who received $500.

Lynell was among five finalists who performed before a live audience at NJPAC's Victoria Theater and a judging panel consisting of award-winning vocalists Vanessa RubinAnn Hampton Callaway, and Will Downing; WBGO radio personality Gary Walker; and, bandleader and composer TS Monk.

The competition recalls the humble beginnings of legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan who, back in 1942, was a Newark teenager and winner of an amateur singing contest at the Apollo Theater. That memorable night help launch the lifework of one of the most successful, influential jazz vocalists in the history of American music.

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Micaiah Bethune