Tessa Souter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tessa Souter
Tessa Souter
Tessa Souter
Background information
Born (1956-04-03) April 3, 1956 (age 62)
London, England
Genres Jazz, pop
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Years active 1999–present
Labels Nara, Venus, Motéma
Website tessasouter.com

Tessa Souter /ˈstər/ is a jazz singer, songwriter and writer. She was born in London to a Trinidadian father and an English mother.[1] Her parents moved many times when she was a child and she attended 16 schools. She studied piano from eight to twelve, when she took up singing and taught herself to accompany herself on guitar. After getting her degree in English Literature from London University, she worked as an editor for an engineering company, before getting a job as an editorial assistant and copy editor at Parents magazine, before leaving to freelance as a copy editor for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Elle Decoration and other magazines, while establishing herself as a freelance writer.[2]

In 1992, Souter moved to the U.S., working as a freelance writer for the international press - including the London Times, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Elle, Elle Decoration, House Beautiful, Vogue, Sydney Morning Herald and South China Morning Post. She became one of the original six members of the San Francisco-based writer's collective, The Writer's Grotto, with founding members Po Bronson, Ethan Canin, Ethan Watters, Josh Kornbluth and David Munro. The Grotto now has 33 offices and serves as a workspace for over 50 writers each month.[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 NEA master, Sheila Jordan, as a mentor.[6]

Since her February 1999 debut at a bar in the West Village, she has made four critically acclaimed albums as a leader. She also has performed and/or recorded with some of the world's top jazz musicians, including Steve Kuhn, Alan Broadbent, Kenny Werner, Joe Locke, David Gilmore, Marvin Sewell, Billy Drummond, Joel Frahm, Lew Soloff, Romero Lubambo,Dana Leong, Alec Dankworth, Nikki Iles, Jim Hart, Lynne Arriale and Howard Johnson.


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



  1. ^ Tessa Souter, Mars Jazz promotional page. http://www.marsjazz.com/tessas.html
  2. ^ "Tessa Souter | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-06-19. 
  3. ^ "our story". The Grotto. 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2018-06-19. 
  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. ^ "https://www.npr.org/buckets/music/women/artist.php?artistId=508". www.npr.org. Retrieved 2018-06-19.  External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Tessa Souter". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-06-19. 
  8. ^ "Tessa Souter | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-06-19. 
  9. ^ Paul Freeman. "Tessa Souter: Anything she can do." Pop Culture Classics, February 2011. http://www.popcultureclassics.com/tessa_souter.html

External links[edit]