The Kennedy Center

Camille Thurman


Multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, vocalist, composer, and educator Camille Thurman is a young musician acquiring an impressive list of accomplishments that extend well beyond her years. Her lush sound on the tenor saxophone has eluded others to compare her to the likeness of tenor greats Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon. Her ability to sing four octaves and to perform vocalese allows her to influence audiences with melodies reminiscent to the sounds of Minnie Riperton, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan. Ms. Thurman’s skills have garnered the respect of audiences beyond the United States, in countries such as Israel, Peru, Russia, and Switzerland.

An accomplished performer and composer in her own right, Ms. Thurman has performed with notable jazz and R&B icons Dr. Billy Taylor, Chaka Khan, George Coleman, Benny Golson, Dianne Reeves, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Patti LaBelle, George Benson, Alicia Keys, Eric Benet, Ciara, and Missy Elliot, among many others. She also leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the International Women in Jazz Festival, the Tomsk International Jazz Festival, the Super Jazz Ashdod Israel Festival, and The Jazz Gallery, as well as other prominent jazz venues and festivals around the world.

Ms. Thurman was a runner-up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition and a two-time award-winning recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award (2012 and 2013). She has appeared on BET’s Black Girls Rock as the saxophonist in the All Star Band led by music director Kim Burse (2012-2015).

Her debut album ORIGINS—featuring Luis Perdomo (piano), Rudy Royston (drums), Corcoran Holt (bass), Enoch Smith Jr. (piano), Brandee Younger (harp), and Shirazette Tinnin (drums and cajón) —was released on the Hot Tone Music label, along with her second release Spirit Child.

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/3/2018: Camille Thurman & Darrell Green

DownBeat Magazine rising star saxophonist and vocalist Camille Thurman joins the incomparable drummer Darrell Green for a collaborative performance debuting music from their latest Horace Silver Tribute project. Renew your senses of what jazz sounds, looks, and feels like while listening to two of the most dynamic young creative and talented forces on the music scene.

Presented in collaboration with the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad.

Video 5/15/2015: Camille Thurman

The jazz saxophonist/vocalist/composer and runner-up for the 2014 International Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition performs with her quartet. Part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.

Camille Thurman