Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch

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Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch (2013)

Tulivu-Donna Lynn Cumberbatch, daughter of Harold Cumberbatch (a baritone saxophone player), is a jazz singer[1] from Brooklyn, and has been compared to Bessie Smith, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Gloria Lynn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and Aretha Franklin in terms of her singing ability.[citation needed]

Her African name "Tulivu" translates from Swahili loosely to "beautiful," and her English name, "Donna Lynn" is derived from "Donna Lee," the jazz piece made popular by Charlie Parker.

Her career[edit]

Cumberbatch participated in church and school choirs, specifically the All City High School Chorus as a child, then studied formally at Herbert H. Lehman College. After training, she began her solo career, influenced by such artists as Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nancy Wilson. Eventually, she was joined by a band of three called "The Magnificent Trio," which consisted of Mark Johnson, Donald Smith, and Rachiim Ausar-Sahu.

In live performances, when not performing with her Trio, Cumberbatch has sung with Hannibal Peterson, Kimati Dinizulu and the Kotoko Society, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Diedre Murray, the Kronos Quartet, Akyenee Baako and Drumsong Productions, The Hank Doughty/Ray Abrams Big Band and The Cliff Smalls Septet, among others. She has performed in the Caribbean, Europe and Canada, and frequently at jazz clubs and festivals in Brooklyn and New York.

She gained additional recognition for work with composer Yoko Kanno on songs for her solo album Song to Fly, and her Cowboy Bebop soundtracks. Cumberbatch also recorded with another acclaimed composer, Yuki Kajiura, doing a jazz rendition of the Noir song Lullaby for Kajiura's solo album Fiction. (This is the third time that Kajiura's composition Lullaby had been recorded: the first time by Yuriko Kaida, and the second time by voice actress Tarako.)

Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch Quartet (2013)

Solo discography[edit]

  • Harmony (1990)
  • Lullabies in the Key of Life ~ For the Child in All of Us (1997)
  • Daughters of the Nile (1999)
  • In the Company of You [Single] (1999)

Featured Discography[edit]


  1. ^ Lord, Tom (April 2000). The jazz discography. Lord Music Reference. p. 1672. ISBN 978-1-881993-22-3. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 

External links[edit]