Tiffany Austin Quartet
Widely hailed as one of the best jazz debut albums of 2015, Tiffany Austin's self-released Nothing But Soul made quite a splash, including sterling reviews in Downbeat and on NPRs Fresh Air. Her eagerly awaited follow-up, Unbroken, confirms the Bay Area vocalists status as one of jazz's elite singers and a formidable songwriter as well.
I've experienced multiple instances of people trying to separate blues from jazz, Austin says. Its kind of maddening. How can you divide the music that comes from the same diaspora, the same spirit? The idea behind this album is that the African-American spirit remains unbroken. After all of the things we go through were still here, joyfully creating great art and great music.
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Austin grew up in a house filled with music. Her parents listened to soul and pop masters like Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, while her Louisiana Creole grandmother introduced her to jazz. She really taught me what soul was about, Austin says. She had a great sense of herself, and didn't let anyone make her feel less than herself. When I sing the blues or jazz, I draw on that Grandmama place.
Austin graduated from the vaunted Los Angeles High School of the Arts. At Cal State Northridge, she majored in creative writing, while studying classical voice. During the year she spent studying in the U.K., she started sitting in at jazz sessions around London. After graduating in 2004, Austin set out for Tokyo with the plan that she'd look for work as a singer and spend a year in Japan. After finding regular work as an R&B chanteuse Austin ended up staying in Tokyo through 2009 and only returned because UC Berkeley School of Law made her a scholarship offer she couldn't refuse. Austin submerged herself in law school and left music behind. After the first year, she realized that she desperately needed a musical outlet. She began performing with bassist, composer, and bandleader Marcus Shelby on numerous projects. With a series of prestigious gigs and residencies, Austin quickly gained attention as the most exciting new voice in the region. With Unbroken, Austin makes it clear that she's far more than a beautiful voice. Claiming her cultural birthright, she's an artist drawing nourishment from all of jazz's roots.
The Sound Room (View)
Oakland, CA 94612
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|