The Texas-raised, Louisiana-based singer Quiana Lynell has been named the winner of the sixth annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, held on Sunday as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).
The prize for the first-place award, also known as the Sassy, is a record-contract offer from the Concord label and $5,000. Second place ($1,500) went to Tatiana “LadyMay” Mayfield, from Fort Worth, Tex.; and the third-place ($500) winner was Christine Fawson, a Berklee faculty member and gifted trumpeter. The competition finals were held before a live audience at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater and judged by a panel including WBGO radio personality Gary Walker; bandleader and composer TS Monk, the son of jazz icon Thelonious Monk; and acclaimed professional vocalists Vanessa Rubin, Ann Hampton Callaway and Will Downing. The two other finalists competing that day were Tiffany Austin, who has made a name for herself on the Northern California scene, and New York-based vocalist Fabio Giacalone.