Ulster University Music department is delighted to present Cassandra Wilson, an American jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Jackson, Mississippi. Cassandra has for a long time been regarded as the finest jazz singer in the world, having sold millions of records on the Blue Note label, but is also known for attracting audiences from a broad spectrum of musical genres.
She began playing piano at six, guitar by the age of twelve and was working as a vocalist by the mid 70’s, singing a wide variety of material. After moving to New York City in the early 80’s, Cassandra met saxophonist Steve Coleman and became one of the founding members of the M-Base Collective. At the completion of her stint with M-Base, Cassandra sought a more acoustic context for her vocal expression. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1992 and released a landmark album titled “Blue Light Til Dawn” which paved the way for a new generation of jazz singers seeking an approach and repertoire that challenged the supremacy of the American Standard songbook.
Wilson has continued interpreting in fresh and creative jazz, vintage blues, country and folk music up until the present day. Her awards include: two Grammys for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 1997 (New Moon Daughter) and 2009 (Loverly), the Django D’Or, The Edison Music Award, and a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. She also performed one of the leading roles in Wynton Marsalis' "Blood on the Fields," the first jazz work to receive a Pulitzer Prize.
More recently joining forces with the prestigious label, Legacy, a subsidiary of Sony Music. Her latest project, Coming Forth By Day, was released on the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday's birth April 7, 2015.