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Chanda Rule & Sweet Emma Band

Line up:

Chanda Rule  (vocals)

Paul Zauner (trombone)

Hermon Mehari (trumpet)

Osian Roberts (tenor sax)

Jan Kořínek (hammond organ)

Jeff Boudroux (drums)


Chanda Rule is a magical vocalist from the south side of Chicago, deeply rooted in Southern Church music, as well as contemporary groove Music. With her feet rooted in gospel, a heart filled with soul, and a voice touched with jazz, singer and songwriter Chanda Rule has been weaving stories through song, humming melodies, and bending words since her childhood. After graduating from Howard University, she took a flight to New York with dreams of using her freshly-earned journalism degree on Madison Avenue. Daunted by rush hour and cubicles, she turned to music for solace and soon after began her professional career in musical theater, appearing in a variety of productions, from New Jersey’s Hudson Shakespeare Company and regional tours, to “Hair, The Musical” in Amsterdam and Milan.

Her “bewitching voice,”as described by the Baltic Times, has a flexibility and range that has graced a variety of musical projects: from “Sapphire Dreams” recorded with the legendary pianist Kirk Lightsey, “Feeling Good: A Tribute to Nina Simone” where she was featured with sax powerhouse Donny McCaslin, and gospel fests and workshops with the Golden Gospel Singers, to appearing as a featured vocalist on ARTE Concert, Ö1 Jazznacht, and ORF’s Dancing Stars. Featured in Cicily Janus’ “The New Face of Jazz” (Billboard Books), Chanda has also performed as an opening act for India.Arie, Kamasi Washington, Amel Larrieux, Angela Bofill, Regina Belle & The Whispers.

Sweet Emma was a renowned pianist and singer from New Orleans who regularly sang in the Preservation Hall. Nat & Cannonball Adderly devoted their song “Sweet Emma” to her … which is the overall inspiration for this special festival program! The Sweet Emma Band plays improvised and varied music, mixing Southern Work Songs, Spirituals, traditional songs from Africa and NU GROOVES.

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