The truth about Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Ayanna 19


This coming Thursday (April 25th 2013) in conclusion to our April-long “Ladies Love Jazz” series, Jazz re:freshed welcomes back a popular and rare talent, in the form of Ayanna Witter-Johnson.





So, here’s a little background on one of the most requested artists to return to the Jazz re:freshed stage…



Ayanna Witter-Johnson is an English folk and soul singer, songwriter and cellist. Nominated for a 2012 MOBO Award, she is a performer of extraordinary versatility and her live shows are intimate journeys that chronicle her experience as a woman in the 21st century.

In 2008 she was a participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery Panufnik Young Composers Scheme in addition to becoming an Emerging Artist in Residence (EAR) at London’s Southbank Centre and graduated from Trinity College of Music in London with a First Class Degree in Classical Composition. In 2009 she was a featured artist with Courtney Pine’s Afropeans: Jazz Warriors and in the following year became the only non-American to win Amateur Night Live at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC.  In 2011 she was commissioned by Joanna MacGregor on behalf of Bath Festival to create a new programme in response to the work of Nina Simone.  In 2011, having won the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund Scholarship, she completed a Masters of Music in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music.



Last year she released her debut recording, Truthfully­, produced by Marc Mac (4Hero) and has since recorded one of those featured songs with the Kronos Quartet.  As an arranger and orchestrator Ayanna has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra on ‘Belief!’ a concert featuring Hugh Masekela, the BBC Symphony Orchestra on Urban Classic (2012) conducted by Jules Buckley and featuring Ms. Dynamite, Skepta, Fazer and Devlin and was also the assistant orchestrator on the original Urban Classic (2006) which brought together leading UK Grime artists and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Charles Hazlewood.

“Cellist and singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson has to be heard to be believed. Her self-assured style blends a honey-sweet vocal delivery with bewitching cello-playing.”  Time Out

“… a huge talent … like a young Cassandra Wilson would have sounded if she also happened to be a fine cellist.”  Jazzwise


Check out the coming and goings in Ayanna’s world here – www.ayannamusic.com





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