Tessa Souter

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Tessa Souter
Tessa Souter, jazz vocalist.jpg
Tessa Souter
Background information
Born (1956-04-03) April 3, 1956 (age 62)
London, England
GenresJazz, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1999–present
LabelsNara, Venus, Motéma

Tessa Souter /ˈstər/ is a jazz singer, songwriter and writer. She was born in London to a Trinidadian father and an English mother.


She was born in London to a Trinidadian father and an English mother.[1] She studied piano, then at the age of twelve taught herself how to play guitar. At sixteen she ran away from home, got married, and had a child. After college, she worked in editing jobs, first for an engineering company, then at Parents magazine.[2]

In 1992, Souter moved to the U.S., working as a freelance writer for the international press, including the London Times, Guardian, Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Elle, Elle Decoration, House Beautiful, Vogue, Sydney Morning Herald, and South China Morning Post. She was a member of The Writer's Grotto with founding members Po Bronson, Ethan Canin, Ethan Watters, Josh Kornbluth, and David Munro.[3]

A friend who heard her sing at a San Francisco Karaoke bar one night encouraged her to consider a musical career and she began attending open mics in San Francisco before moving to New York in 1997, where she continued to sit in at various jazz clubs in the city.[4] While attending Manhattan School of Music, Souter met jazz legend Mark Murphy[5] and spent four years under his close mentorship. She also cites jazz singer Sheila Jordan as a mentor.[6]

She has worked with Lynne Arriale, Alan Broadbent, Alec Dankworth, Billy Drummond, Joel Frahm, David Gilmore, Jim Hart, Nikki Iles, Howard Johnson, Steve Kuhn, Dana Leong, Joe Locke, Romero Lubambo, Marvin Sewell, Lew Soloff, and Kenny Werner.


  • Listen Love (Nara, 2004)
  • Nights of Key Largo (Venus, 2008)
  • Obsession (Motéma, 2009)
  • Beyond the Blue (Motéma, 2012)[7]


  • Souter, Tessa. 2006. Anything I Can Do You Can Do Better: How to Unlock Your Creative Dreams and Change Your Life. Vermillion/Penguin.[8]


  1. ^ "Tessa Souter: MarsJazz Booking Agency". Mars Jazz. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Tessa Souter". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Our Story". The Grotto. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Tessa Souter sets her story to music". Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  5. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Tessa Souter Trio Comes To The 55 Bar 8/13". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  6. ^ "Tessa Souter". NPR. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Tessa Souter Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  8. ^ Freeman, Paul (February 2011). "Tessa Souter: Anything She Can Do". PopCultureClassics.com. Retrieved 26 June 2018.

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