Tamara Mayers is a jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger originally from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Her style of music ranges from jazz, classical, and the blues to reggae, funk, and Afrobeat. In some of her compositions and arrangements, you will hear a taste of the caribbean in the syncopated bass lines or the driving beat of the drums.
Prior to jazz performance, Tamara performed as one of the soloists in the Aviano Gospel Choir that toured Italy from 2000-2001. She also studied classical music at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville where she received her B.A. in Music. She is now in her last year of the Jazz Studies Masters program at Michigan State University and is ready to embark upon her musical career.
Tamara's greatest musical influences include Thelonious Monk, Fela Kuti, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Charles Mingus, Bobby McFerrin, Nina Simone, Jill Scott, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Amel Larrieux, Sarah Vaughan, and a host of others. Her music is a huge melting pot of every sonic experience that she's ever had, blending roots and funk, jazz and classical, Afrobeat and soul.
Tamara has performed with an elite list of jazz musicians, such as Sean Jones, Tia Fuller, Rodney Whitaker, Sean Dobbins, Perry Hughes, Wes Anderson, Ron Blake, Jim Alfredson, Etienne Charles, Diego Rivera, Steve Ritchko, Paul Keller, and many more throughout her jazz career. She also had the honor of workshopping with Grammy Award-winning artist, Esperanza Spalding. Tamara can been seen performing in local venues in the Lansing area and Detroit, such as Mumbai, The Green Door, Leroy's Classic Bar & Grill, Gregory's, Cliff Bells, and Bakers. She has also performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and in the East Lansing Jazz Festival and the Detroit International Jazz Festival in 2009 and 2010 with the Mack Avenue All-Stars and the MSU Bebop Spartans respectively.
Most recently, Tamara received an "Outstanding Soloist" award at the Elmhurst Collegiate Jazz Festival. Tamara's sound is a blend of her jazz and classical roots with an earthy, yet modern twist that is sure to be an exciting experience for any audience.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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