Tessa Quayle


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Tessa is currently living, singing and teaching in Wellington. She is an accomplished singer with her own unique flavour of various jazz styles, including a refreshing approach to ‘scat’, which can regularly be heard live around Wellington where she performs with the ‘Tessa Quayle Quartet’. Tessa is a vocal tutor at the New Zealand School of Music in the Jazz programme, and directs the vocal ensemble. She also teaches voice privately at her studio, covering technique, performance and style, and runs periodic singers’ workshops at ‘St Andrews on the Terrace’.

After realising that Jazz music was her true passion, Tessa headed to the Christchurch Jazz School where she studied jazz singing and graduated with a Diploma in Jazz Studies in 2001. During her studies, her talent was recognised and she gained the first and third year scholarships. She was also part of a select group chosen to tour the South Island performing to universities, schools and a variety of other venues. In her ‘down-time’, Tessa sung in various concerts and gigs around Christchurch, and also performed in the Christchurch, Queenstown and Nelson Jazz Festivals.

At the completion of her studies, Tessa moved to Wellington to expand her musical horizons. She immersed herself in the Wellington music scene beginning with a performance in the Wellington International Jazz Festival with top Wellington artists and frequent gigs in various bars and other venues. It was while in Wellington that Tessa was selected as vocalist for the New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra which toured the lower South Island, and sung in the Wellington Youth Choir.

In 2006, after having a taste of ‘abroad’ singing in Australia with guitarist Dave Smith in bars and private functions, it was time for Tessa to head to the UK, basing herself in London as a ‘Supply’ Teacher. From there she travelled and began making her mark as a jazz singer around Europe. As well as performing in various jazz clubs in London, including the ‘606 Club’ (with the Ronnie Scott’s Legacy Band), ‘Octave’ and ‘Spice of Life’, she performed in the Hythe International Jazz Festival in 2006 and jammed at the Wrexham International Jazz Guitar Festival in 2007.

Along her travels Tessa was also fortunate enough to sing alongside saxophonist Pat Crumley at the ‘Sunside’ Jazz Club in Paris and was given the opportunity to perform in Scotland and Barcelona Jazz bars. During her time in London, while performing in various localities and teaching music in London Secondary schools, Tessa also studied privately with Tina May and Anita Wardell, two of the top jazz singers in the UK.

Last edited: 22.03.16

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