Tama Shutts is a jazz instrumentalist/vocalist based in L.A. county. A lifelong jazz enthusiast, Tama has experience in many different forms of jazz – studying anything from bebop to modern pop.
While attending Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, Tama sang in the internationally renowned Mt. San Antonio College Chamber Singers, the celebrated vocal jazz ensembles “Singcopation” and “Frontline,” and played in the top Jazz band and combo for several years. Tama represented Mt. San Antonio College in many different festivals and competitions, including the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, the Reno Jazz Festival in Nevada, the Xinghai Prize International Choral Competition in Guangzhou, China, the American International Choral Competition in Reno, Nevada, the Spittal Choral Competition in Austria, and the Eisteddfod Choral Competition in Wales – winning the prestigious Pavarotti trophy as well as the title of “Choir of the World.” While studying at California State University – Long Beach, he sang with the top vocal jazz ensemble, Pacific Standard Time. With them, he was featured at the JEN conference in Dallas, Texas, the Cuesta College Vocal Jazz Festival, and at the Hollywood Bowl for the 2017 Playboy Jazz Festival.
As an individual, Tama has collected many accolades, including the 2013 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival “Outstanding Soloist” award, the Reno Jazz Festival “Outstanding College Vocal Musician” award, eight Reno Jazz Festival Outstanding Musicianship awards in both collegiate vocal and instrumental divisions, two CalJAS collegiate scholarships, as well as winning the 2012 San Gabriel Seven Student Jazz Scholarship competition. Tama has been awarded numerous honors by Downbeat Magazine, including two Student Music Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance (2013 & 2018), and the 2018 “Undergraduate College Winner – Vocal Jazz Soloist” award.
An Ella Fitzgerald scholarship recipient, Tama is currently a student at California State University, Long Beach, where he is completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. He is currently studying privately with Matt Falker.