The 17-year-old jazz singer is the youngest to perform at the festival
(CBS DETROIT) — The Detroit Jazz Festival takes place over Labor Day weekend, and artists from across the country show off their talents at places like Campus Martius and Hart Plaza.
Anissa Lea is an artist who is letting Detroit know it’s time to shine. At only 17, she is the youngest performer to sing at this festival. She drew comparisons to Adele and Billie Holliday took to the Absopure Waterfront stage on Saturday afternoon to show off her skills behind the mic.
The Livonia native has been recording since the young age of 13. She also writes her own songs, using her past experiences to motivate and inspire her.
“Being able to express my feelings through my emotions, through my music, and being able to share my love and passion with everyone,” Lea says of her writing inspiration. “I am extremely honored to have been selected,” she added.
It was a selection that Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, said was a no-brainer.
“When I first heard it, I was at the helm of the jazz tradition,” Collins says. He says a performer like Lea embodies what the festival is all about. He blindly listens to auditions when it comes to selecting who will perform at this year’s festival. He didn’t know Lea was only 17.
“When I heard Anissa straight away. I wrote number 39 and I didn’t know. I didn’t know she was 17, I didn’t know. I just thought, that’s the “one of those records. I don’t know. I have to get her into the festival,” Collins said after listening to Lea for the first time.
Collins added that it’s always a pleasure to hear young people take an interest in the jazz music genre and thinks the sky is the limit for a talent like Lea who has all the time in the world to keep improving.
“But when you hear someone who not only has natural talent, but is very clear about what clearly puts a lot of time into their craft and invests in jazz vocabulary, that’s a lot to do at 17. “, says Collins.
Lea humbly says she hopes to continue her musical journey as she continues to grow, after saying she performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
“Writing my music and being able to share it with the world. I’ve always been there to make my music in there and really be myself,” Lea said.