Participants 2015

Alyssa Allgood

alyssa_allgood_headshot_0Alyssa Allgood has been described by jazz historian Scott Yanow as “one of the top up-and-coming jazz singers around today”. Alyssa won DownBeat Magazine’s Student Music Award for Best Vocal Jazz Soloist in 2014 and was named a top 40 semifinalist in the 2014 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. In January 2015, Alyssa released her debut EP recording entitled Lady Bird. The recording received a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on All About Jazz and was described as “the most refined offering in the genre yet”.

Cinnamon Denise


Cinnamon Denise is an Atlanta, Georgia, USA native who began singing at the age of 5 as a member of her church choir.  Also a class of 2014 University of Miami Frost School of Music alumna, Cinnamon Denise currently resides in Valencia, Spain where she is studying at Berklee
College of Music and is a Master of Music Technology Innovation class of 2015 candidate.  Cinnamon Denise believes in her heart of hearts that we must learn how to love one another, and music is the medium to do so.

Laura David


Born into a musical family, Laura David discovered singing very early. She totally fell in love with Jazz music the day she performed with a Big Band for the first time, at the age of 14. After studying jazz and classical singing at Paris’s conservatory, she felt the need to share her own compositions. At the end of 2013 she recorded her first 7 songs EP. She then formed her quartet and started performing on the french jazz music scene. She’s currently working on her first album.

Alina Engibaryan


Alina Engibaryan -Was born on 15 of May 1993,in Rostov-on-Don (Russia).

She began singing at the age of 5. In 1998 she entered jazz music school (the 1-st specialized school in Russia), and graduated with the best possible results. During her studies in Rostov-on-Don was involved in many international Big-Band projects and touring with it all over Europe.

Winner of jazz competitions in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and finalist of a Dutch Vocal Competition and Princess Christine Concourse In The Netherlands.

At the moment Alina is studying at the Prince Claus Conservatoire on Master Program and performing with her band around the Europe.

Yumi Ito


Yumi Ito (1990) Polish / Japanese / Swiss (living in Switzerland)

Yumi Ito was born in 1990 in Basel (CH) and grew up in a polish-japanese family of musicians. She gave her piano debut with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the “Tonhalle” hall in Zurich when she was three years old. From the age of 13, she has studied classical singing with her mother, Margo Cadias. Later on she took lessons with Lisette Spinnler, Gretchen Parlato, Theo Bleckmann, Bob Stoloff and Bobby McFerrin. She recorded with the Yumi Ito Quartet in London, toured through Japan with a Big Band and currently composes for her Duo with pianist Yves Theiler. She just finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz at the University of Arts in Zürich and will continue her studying for a Master’s degree in Basel. “…Yumi Ito, whose extraordinary ability to deliver a song in it’s entirety, including both lyrics and improvisation, will leave a lasting impression…” (Bob Stoloff).

Rebecca Melrose

Rebecca Melrose, a writer and musician from Auckland, New Zealand, credits a plethora of musical influences to her current style. Trained in classical music, which led to a love of composition (namely choral) in later years, she has developed a diverse vocal ability thanks to a love of bebop, 60’s and 70’s punk and pop, 90’s R&B, and current minimalist and electronic genres.

Having performed live jazz since her early teens, Rebecca made the easy decision to study jazz at Auckland University, which led to an exploration of arrangement, composition and improvisation. She has since performed jazz around New Zealand and has taught jazz technique and as a vocal tutor for many years in Auckland. She is also currently performing and recording under the moniker of Miloux, a solo electronic pop project.

Rebecca’s vocal style has been described as rich, skilful, engaging, and inventive.

Chiara Pancaldi

Chiara Pancaldi is a passionate Italian jazz singer. She has worked with many great Italian and American jazz musicians such as Cyrus Chestnut, John Webber, Joe Farnsworth, Kirk Lighsey, Darryl Hall, Nico Menci, Stefano Senni, Piero Odorici, Davide Brillante and many more.

Her new album I WALK A LITTLE FASTER  has been recently released by Challenge Records. The album was recorded in New York with an excellent trio: Cyrus Chestnut on piano, John Webber on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums. The record has Jeremy Pelt acting as Artistic Producer.

Sans Elle


Sans Elle first sat a at piano aged 5. She soon fell for Debussy & Gershwin. She started singing and composing at 14. Since then, beside management studies and career, she widely explored music through composition, collaborations and live projects in nearly all genres (rythm’n blues, pop, jazz, lounge, electro, musicals).

2008 is an important year with the joining of the American school of Modern Music and the set up 2 original projects (around 50 gigs until 2010). In 2014, she finally set up her own label SAY YAY! and produced and released ‘Beyond’ her debut album entirely made of originals. ‘A beautiful discovery between jazz & contemporary soul.’ Soul Bag. Beyond has and will be presented on numerous Parisian stages (Sunset Jazz Club, Bellevilloise, Marcounet, Café universel, Jazz on Seine, Jazz au coeur et guitare à l’âme…).

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Vuyo Sotashe


Young South African jazz vocalist, Vuyo Sotashe, is gradually making his mark in the New York jazz scene and internationally. He recently graduated with a Master of Music degree at William Paterson University through the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. He has gone on to win first prize at the very first Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2014, and performed on the festival’s main stage. Vuyo has also had the privilege to perform with George Benson with the Cape Town Symphony at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Grammy Award winning gospel artist Israel Houghton as part of New Breed Africa and he performs regularly with praised jazz drummer Winard Harper. Vuyo’s music is deeply influenced by South African Xhosa, gospel music and the vast jazz tradition.

Mamen Vebjørn 


21 year-old Vebjørn Mamen from Asker, Norway is in his second year of studying jazz improvisation at Leeds College of Music. Vebjørn has passionately been playing music since he first picked up the guitar at age 12. Though initially obsessed with the rock music of Led Zeppelin and Queen he soon discovered jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Chet Baker and Stan Getz becoming exponentially fascinated by improvised music; however, it was the music of American Jazz vocal master Kurt Elling that introduced Vebjørn to the amazing world of Jazz vocals.

One thought on “Participants 2015

  1. Pingback: Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

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