CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE – New York’s newest hotspot for intimate dining and extraordinary music – will present acclaimed vocalist Tawanda, winner of the 2020 Sarah Vaughan Vocal Jazz Competition and the 2023 Bistro Award for Jazz Vocalist – on Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 PM. Born Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, she returns to Manhattan after her highly praised sold-out debut performance at Birdland last year. The beautiful and statuesque young artist will bring her unique interpretations to songs ranging from Broadway, jazz, and Brazilian, to contemporary artists such as Sting. This concert cerebrates Smile, her new album from Resonance Records. Tawanda will be accompanied by a trio featuring musical director and pianist Jim Ridl (Pat Martino, James Moody, Clark Terry). Tickets are $25-$55, in addition to a service charge and a two-item food and beverage minimum. A livestream option is available for $20CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE is located at 152 West 26th Street.

Tawanda, raised New Mexico on the border with Texas, is a proud first-generation American with a mother from Germany and a father from Mozambique. Family gatherings would feature music from Cuba, the South Pacific, the Middle East, and France, with groups like the Gipsy Kings and Te Vaka providing a constant undercurrent to her early life. Other influences include Sam Mangwana, Angelique Kidjo, Brenda Fassie, and Hugh Masekela, classical composers Vivaldi and Bach, and singer/songwriters Carole King and James Taylor.

While earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, she fell in love with the show tunes of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin 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 vocal greats such as Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, 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 the Bantu dialect Shona, has embedded a deep-rooted desire within her to give back to those around her. There is no better affirmation of that talent than winning the 2020 Sarah Vaughan Vocal Jazz Competition, an accolade previously conferred on artists such as Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, and Samara Joy. Now based in Los Angeles and with a host of performances that have enthralled audiences, Tawanda is set to soar on the wings of success.

Purchase tickets at @chelseatableandstage