Ayanna was born in McNary Arizona, raised in Southern California and has relocated to San Diego, where she is currently Singing R&B-Blues-Soul-Jazz Music in the local Clubs. Jazz / Blues Vocalist Ayanna Hobson's Musical diet consisted of many of the greats such as, B.B. King, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Sarah Vaughn to name a few. Her powerful Vocal style, with an operatic 4.5 Octave range, has often been compared to that of Cleo Laine and Sarah Vaughn, her Jazzy Vocal stylings to that of Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter.
In California Ayanna and her Acoustic Jazz Ensemble appeared extensively in Clubs, and Concerts throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Her Hawaiian Group 'ROOTS' gave renowned performances throughout the Hawaian Islands. Ayanna has also been featured as Lead Vocalist for Glenn Horiuchi's free-form Jazz Ensemble 'MAIN FORCE', in San Diego California, and in Italy for the Dennis Proctor 'JAZZ QUARTET'. Ayanna's hard driving energy has been known to blister the fingers of the most accomplished musicians and work audiences into a frenzy.
In the year 2000 Ayanna along with Buster (Little Buster) Forehand and Steve Kleinberg formed a Partnership, which has resulted in her becoming the Vice-President of Musical Development for Little Buster Records Inc. Ayanna's latest CD 'Looking for A Home Too' is a Tribute to her Mentor / Collaborator, New York's Blues and Soul Legend, Buster (Little Buster) Forehand.
Celebrity Theater, Phoenix AZ, Maui Jazz Festival, HA, Aztlan Theater, Denver CO., Folly Theater, Kansas City MO., The Howlin' Wolf, New Orleans LA, World Mardi Gras, Indianapolis IN., Mississippi Nights, St. Louis MO, Sean Kaley's Lamont IL, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta GA, The Knitting Factory, New York City, NY. Jazz Festivals in Rome, Milan, Venice, Sicily, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, City of Tempe Cultural Festival, Tempe AZ., Rhythm Room, Phoenix AZ.,The Blue Note, Scottsdale AZ.,The Orbit Jazz Club Phoenix Az., Doc & Eddy's Tempe Az., Lake Pleasant, Phoenix AZ., Papa Deux, Peoria AZ., The End, Glendale AZ. SugarDaddy's, Scottsdale AZ., The Brokers, Scottsdale AZ., The Redfish, Scottsdale AZ., Barwinkles, Phoenix AZ., Fever Blues, Phoenix AZ., High Tops, Phoenix AZ., Apache Gold Casino, San Carlos, AZ., US Grant Hotel, San Diego, CA., Caesar Cafe, San Diego, CA., Riverbend Festival 2005 Chatannoga TN, Blues By The Bay Festival 2006 Eureka CA, Kipona Music Festival 2006 Harrisburg PA.
'Little Buster', 'Jackson Street Band', 'Acoustic Jazz Ensemble', 'James Newton' (Jazz Virtuoso), 'Main Force', 'Dennis Proctor's Jazz Quartet', 'Fattburger'.
MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTIONS:
"Ain't Misbehavin", "Don't Bother Me", "I Can't Cope", "Showboat", "On This Island", "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide", "Rasin' The Rent".
AYANNA HAS OPENED SHOWS FOR:
Dizzy Gillispie, The Four Tops, The Platters (J.C. Parrish), The Temptations, B.J. Thomas, Little Buster, Eddie Harris, Lamart Johnson, Mary Wells, Little Milton.
Billboard Magazine, "AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT", and San Diego's Rep/Actors Group "BEST ACTRESS", and "BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS".
AYANNA HOBSON & THE SOULMATES:
The Band consists of 4 Instruments, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Keyboards, in addition to Ayanna's 4.5 octave Vocal range.
R&B, SOUL, BLUES, JAZZ.
TELEVISION & RADIO PERFORMANCES:
KPNX T.V. Channel 12 Phoenix Arizona,"The Today Show" KTVK T.V. Channel 3 Phoenix Arizona,"Good Morning Arizona" FOX T.V. 4, Kansas City Mo., KJZZ 91.5 FM Mesa Arizona., WVGS Statesboro GA., WCSB Cleveland OH., WSTB (V-Rock) Streetboro OH., WGRE Greencastle IN., WSND Notre Dame IN., WRUW Cleveland OH., WJCU University Heights OH., WFCI Franklin IN.,WCER Indianapolis IN., WONC Naperville IL., WWUH West Hartford CT., WBAI New York NY., WCOW Old Westbury NY., WNYU New York NY., WFUV Bronx NY., WSHR Lake Ronkonkama NY., WLIU South Hampton NY., WREK Atlanta GA., KDHX St. Louis MO., KCUR Kansas City MO., KKFI Kansas City MO., KTRM Kirksville MO., KSLU Hammond IN., KRVS Lafayette LA., WTUL New Orleans LA., KZUM Lincoln NE., WUTC Chattannoga TN., WQOX Memphis TN., WPEG Jasper TN., KRLT Lake Tahoe,KHUM 104.7 FM Eureka CA. .
Sandy Serge - Serge Entertainment Group
James Citkovic - Countdown Entertainment
Gaye Carlton - Mantra Public Relations
2003-"Looking For A Home Too" LITTLE BUSTER RECORDS
Music & Lyrics by: Buster (Little Buster) Forehand
Produced & Arranged by: Steve Kleinberg & Ayanna Hobson
"AYANNA'S Overwhelming Talent Is A Tribute To My Music, She Is A Worldclass Entertainer, That Is More Than Entitled To Be In The Spotlights Throughout The World". Buster (LITTLE BUSTER) Forehand.
"Ayanna Hobson Is One Of The West Coast's Finest Jazz, Blues and R&B Vocalists"
Dale Morris - 'San Diego Theatre Scene' - June 2007
"AYANNA & THE SOULMATES CD 'Looking For A Home Too', Is The Most Soulful Music Ever To Come Out Of Phoenix", Bob Corritore KJZZ 91.5 FM RADIO, Phoenix, AZ.
"AYANNA Is One Of The Best Singers I`ve Heard In Some Years", Kjell Andreassen, Radio Holstebro 97.4, Denmark.
"The Great Success Of An Afternoon Of Fine Music, Is Due To The Caliber Of Performance Provided By AYANNA & THE SOULMATES", Wydale Holmes, Fine Arts Coordinator City Of Tempe AZ.
"The Songs, Music and Lyrics of AYANNA & THE SOULMATES CD 'LOOKING FOR A HOME TOO' Tell A Story, And AYANNA'S Vocals Are Just As Dynamic As One Of My Favorite Entertainers "Koko Taylor", Bill Wagner KZUM 89.3 FM, Lincoln, NE.
"AYANNA Is Amazing! Not Since I First Saw JAMES BROWN, B.B. KING and LITTLE BUSTER In The 1970's Have I Been So Taken By An Artist. Her Talent, Delivery And Charisma Is Second To None, Making Her A Force To Be Reckoned With, It's Time For ARETHA To Pass The Crown!!", TRS Music Promotion, Phoenix, AZ.
"AYANNA & THE SOULMATES Perform Incredible Old-School Rhythm & Blues Music, About Love And Heartbreak", Dianna Bagby, DAILY POST Atlanta, GA.
"AYANNA & THE SOULMATES, Great American Music, Performed by Artists Who Have Found Their Groove" GAMBIT WEEKLY, New Orleans., LA.
"AYANNA & THE SOULMATES Created An Evening Of Spectacular Blues, Soul, R&B, and Jazz Music", DENVER POST, Denver CO.
"The Music And Performance of AYANNA & THE SOULMATES Is A Celebration For Your Soul, Ayanna's 4.5 Octave Vocals Are Outstanding", KANSAS CITY STAR Kansas City MO.
"AYANNA HOBSON & The Soulmates"
Chattanooga TN.- June 15th, 2005
By: Jay Mouton
"AYANNA HOBSON & THE SOULMATES are the stuff hot, sticky evening blues. I made my way through the gauntlet that is the Strut, and found my efforts paid back in fold. Ayanna Hobson is pure dynamism in motion. She delivers her vocals with the confidence and pleasure that are the foundation of all strong performances. She treats her audience members with the affection she might show a friend she’s not seen for a number of years, but is enthralled that friend is now back in her company. Ayanna’s stage presence exudes affection for not her musical gift, but true affection for the members of her audience.
The Soulmates are the tightest Band I’ve heard, but trust me that’s an advantage in the straight up Blues they deliver while backing up Ayanna Hobson. I would describe the Band’s sound as unaffected, no frills Electric Blues. They have mastered that controlled looseness The ROLLING STONES perfected and rode all the way to the top of the Music World. Some of the syncopated musical phrases the band pulled off impressed the &*# out of me. The best part was they did it like breathing, and not with that “hey everybody, watch this” affectation some Bands do to death. All in all, I found the Band’s performance powerful and kicking, but tasteful in the extreme.
If I may indulge in a cliché to sum up my feelings about Ayanna Hobson and The Soulmates, I like my Blues like I like my Whisky â€" Straight".
AYANNA & THE SOULMATES
"Looking For A Home Too"
BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO,
MARY4MUSIC Â© NOVEMBER, 2004
I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is obviously a reason I felt so compelled to review this CD. Usually I shy away from the R&B style of the blues and stay more focused on the real mainstream blues. Yet, during the several listens that I give a CD before making the final decision, each listen of "LOOKING FOR A HOME TOO", caused me to listen closer the next time. Ultimately, I was able to put the "style preference" behind me and when I did, what I heard was nothing short of shear excellence.
On AYANNA & THE SOULMATES CD "LOOKING FOR A HOME TOO", all of the songs' music and lyrics are written by BUSTER "LITTLE BUSTER" FOREHAND, and the title of the CD is directly taken from a previously released CD by LITTLE BUSTER called 'LOOKING FOR A HOME" - but the similarities stop there.
Everything about this band, which consists of AYANNA HOBSON on vocals; CHRIS HIATT on guitar; RICH ALFANO on bass; JOHNNY FLORES on drums; special guests JOHN CAZAN on organ and guitar; KATHERINE QUINIF on background vocals; and DEAN MURPHY on guitar, is original Throughout the CD, AYANNA'S vocals are one of it's highlights. Her voice is so strong, commanding and articulate that you can't help but think she could carry the song without a microphone. It didn't surprise me one bit when I read in her bio that she has an operatic 4.5 Octave vocal range and that she performed in many musical theater productions.
"MY DARLING", is one of the CD's bluesier tracks. CHRIS HIATT gets in his share of blues licks on this one. His playing throughout the CD impressed me enough to wish I could here him flat out play nothing but the blues. This track also features JOHNNY FLORES on a very nice drum solo. "TOUGHER THAN TOUGH" may be the best track on the CD. The whole band is peaking and the vocals and background vocal are superb. The song has a bit of a gospel sound to it as it progressively gets faster and faster after each verse. This was a hot one. The whole CD is hot.
The Production Department deserves a nod here also. The mixing is perfect. Each instrument can be heard well enough to realize that respective musicians excellent talent, which "LOOKING FOR A HOME TOO" is abundant with. That's it, it took me till the end of the review to realize what the compelling force of the CD was - TALENT!
AYANNA & THE SOULMATES
'Looking For A Home Too'
"If you are looking for some slow sensual Blues for a stay at home and cuddle kind of Night this might be what you are looking for". Biggdady, WALLA WALLA BLUES SOCIETY
AYANNA & THE SOULMATES
'Looking For A Home Too'
"This is driving forceful old style Soul R'n'B led by the powerful soulful Voice of Ayanna in the tradition of the great Southern Soul Names. Pleading soulfully portrayed stories of Llove and desertion.'Thinking About You' is strong whilst retaining a slightly different take, a Reggae Rhythm, yet it is still indisputably American Heritage Music. I know it should be expected of Blues music but I found some of it a bit too Guitar laden for my ears. For example 'What Can I Do' (also done by Little Buster) is almost a classic Northern Soul sound yet it is unlikely to get played for this reason - great track though. The killer cut for me is the deep soul 'That's What I Want To Do' a 6 minutes plus of controlled strength. Title track 'Looking For A Home' is mellower and also extremely nice. Live feel to the whole thing and I would guess that if you hear this 'out' it would sound exactly the same and you would go home satiated with Ayanna's presence and most of all Voice. Unfortunately you don't hear voices like this too often in todays material but it should be captured and bottled. -Mike Ashley LIFE & SOUL PROMOTIONS, UNITED KINGDOM.