“Music, I believe, is the greatest vessel for discovery, expression and transformation, sharing at its core our humanity, and our desire to connect”
Callandra Youngleson is a South African vocalist, composer and vocal coach originally from Johannesburg currently studying her Masters in Jazz voice performance at the University of North Texas, one of the top schools for Jazz in the world. Jazz is Callandra’s undeniable passion.
She has performed internationally collaborating with some of South Africa’s greatest Jazz musicians and is currently a member of the UNT Jazz Singers group that have performed around Texas, Chicago and have had the honor of being an opening act for Kurt Elling in 2017.
Callandra completed her BMus in Jazz voice and composition at WITS University. She was selected as the vocalist of the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band for 2016, led by Carlo Mombelli, being chosen as one of the top 8 young jazz musicians in South Africa. The band performed at the Grahamstown Youth Jazz Festival and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg. Callandra also works as a session vocalist, with a diverse range of voice over and studio experience.
Callandra finds inspiration in connecting with and bringing musicians together. She co-created the community, JazzNowJozi! to bring the musicians of Johannesburg into communication and connection, to create more work opportunities and create a space for young musicians to learn, facilitated through weekly and monthly jam sessions. Callandra also works as a freelance composer. She is the commissioned composer for Bodymindzone: The biggest YouTube channel for relaxation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
She has also composed and arranged for live orchestra, string quartet, animation and film. Her independent film score for “Women in the Dark” was screened at the Africa in Motion film festival in Scotland. Sharing her growing knowledge about healthy and liberating vocal technique and expressional freedom is one of Callandra’s greatest passions and she has been a vocal coach at St Mary’s school in Waverley, WITS University and is currently one of the jazz voice teaching fellows at the UNT College of Music in Texas