‘Community is key’: meet Cherise Adams-Burnett

Photo credit: Joe Hart photography

We’re super excited to announce that award-winning singer-songwriter Cherise Adams-Burnett will be playing our Autumn gig at White City House, yay! A graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Cherise is Jazz FM’s Vocalist of the Year 2019, plays live with afrobeat-jazz band Nubyian Twist and has performed at events including the BBC Proms and Love Supreme Festival. I caught up with Cherise ahead of next month’s gig.

Jennie: How did your musical journey lead you to jazz?

Cherise: I’ve always loved soul singers like Anita Baker, Toni Braxton, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder. When I was 16, I was keen to find my route as a vocalist. And I was lucky enough to find the organisation Tomorrows Warriors, who offer support to teenagers and young adults who are interested in building a career as a jazz musician. They helped to build my foundation. 

Jennie: Which jazz vocalists have inspired you the most and why?

Cherise: I’d say that Ella Fitzgerald has. Knowing that she was homeless and penniless when she was first discovered by Chick Webb in a talent competition helps me to push through in times when it feels like being a musician is too hard. Her resilient spirit is inspiring. 

Jennie: Working as a professional musician is a dream job, but it can also be very tough at times. What has helped you get to this point and any tips for aspiring musicians?

Cherise: Community is key. I wouldn’t be here without the people who believe in me; the people who have given me reassurance when the hardships of this path make me doubt whether to go on. I’d strongly urge any aspiring musicians to value their friends, family and supporters. 

Jennie: How did it feel to win Jazz FM Vocalist of the Year 2019?

Cherise: I was in shock! I honestly didn’t expect it. I was and still am so grateful. 

Jennie: We’re super excited about your Soho House gig in October, any hints on what we can expect?

Cherise: You can expect a mixture! Originals, soul, jazz …. a mixture for sure! Haha.

Jennie: Finally, you can invite any three people to dinner, who would be your dream guests and why?
Cherise: Anita Baker because she’s my Queen; Oprah Winfrey because I wanna some of that wisdom! And Solange because I love the music she’s made the last few years.

Join our Trailblazer membership programme and get on our guest list to see Cherise at White City House on 29th October 2019; plus be the first to hear about all our future gigs, events and news!