Tessanne Chin is a Jamaican recording artist and the first (and only, so far) foreigner to win the NBC reality series ‘The Voice’. She comes from a dynasty of Jamaican musicians that includes her parents (who were in a band called The Carnations), her older sister Tami (also a singer), her cousin Jay Hall (a vocalist and guitarist with UK rockers Grassroutes), and Jay’s brother Leon (a vocalist with ska-fusion act Electrik Custar). Tessanne was famous in Jamaica long before her ‘big break’ on TV and has performed with international stars such as Patti Labelle, Peabo Bryson, Gladys Knight, Shaggy, and Jimmy Cliff.
I had the pleasure of hearing Tessanne Chin perform up close over the weekend when I attended a fundraiser for the Office of the Child Advocate. The event was in celebration of the OCA’s 10th anniversary serving the youth of Jamaica. It was held on the lawn of King’s House (the home of the Governor General) and was attended by many of Jamaica’s political elite, foreign dignitaries, and social advocates (I was a guest of the Canadian High Commission, who attended the event by special invitation). It was a beautiful setting and a very fancy event complete with red carpet, fancy cocktails, and high fashion.
Tessanne’s performance was the highlight of the event. Her voice is spectacular, and her stage presence set the perfect tone for the evening. She is well known for her philanthropy and support of youth and women’s issues in Jamaica.
If you didn’t get a chance to catch her on ‘The Voice’, I’d recommend sampling some of her performances. Her covers of great hits for the show only hint at the breadth and depth of her talent. In the meantime, hopefully you’ll enjoy this song from her album of the same name.