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Tierney Sutton

A major bop-based singer who is a constant improviser, Tierney Sutton has been growing in significance and fame ever since her 1998 debut recording. Born in Wisconsin in 1963, she grew up in Milwaukee and attended Boston University and Wesleyan, where she gained a degree in Russian language and literature. While at Wesleyan, Sutton discovered jazz, started working as a jazz singer, and changed her future direction completely, attending Berklee for a few semesters where she studied under Jerry Bergonzi. She moved to Los Angeles in 1994, sang with Buddy Childers and Dave MacKay, guested with the Les Brown Orchestra, and worked regularly in local clubs.

Also in 1994, Sutton put together her own group which has remained intact ever since, featuring pianist Christian Jacob, Trey Henry or Kevin Axt on bass, and drummer Ray Brinker. In 1998, Sutton was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition and she made her first recording, Introducing Tierney Sutton, for the A Music label. Signing with Telarc in 2000 was a big break for it gave Sutton a national presence and a chance to stretch out on a variety of projects with her band. She has since recorded a half-dozen CDs including a set of former jazz instrumentals that benefit from her vocals (Unsung Heroes), a tribute to Bill Evans (Blue in Green), Something Cool, a program of music inspired by Frank Sinatra (Dancing in the Dark) and most recently On the Other Side. In addition to her performances and recordings, Tierney Sutton teaches voice at USC.