California-born soprano Jayme Alilaw is praised for her lush and vibrant tone throughout the operatic, classical, and spiritual repertoire, and is a fierce advocate for the performance of works by African American composers. She was the Los Angeles District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Southeast Regional winner of the National Association of Negro Musicians Vocal Competition, winner and Audience Choice recipient for the Harlem Opera Vocal Competition, finalist in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition, quarterfinalist in the American Traditions Competition, and winner of the Performing Arts Award from the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena. Ms. Alilaw is the two time recipient of the Village Voices Chorale Scholarship, and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lamba Musical Honor Fraternity in the spring of 2007.
Operatically, Ms. Alilaw is equally at home in traditional and contemporary repertoire. Favorite performed roles include Susanna in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Lauretta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme, the title role in Suor Angelica, the title role in Dido and Aeneas, Mrs. Jones in Weill's Street Scene, and the Second Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. She has sung roles in numerous premieres, including Laura Delano in the UCLA Seminal Institute’s world premiere production of Kenneth Wells’ The First Lady, the Marketing Director in the world staged premiere of Paul Salerni’s Tony Caruso’s Last Broadcast, and Ana Maria in the Atlanta premiere of Roger Ames' En Mis Palabras. Most recently, Jayme has played the role of Mother Abbess in the Brian Clowdus Experiences production of Sound of Music. Jayme has became a resident artist with The Atlanta Opera in 2010, singing lead roles in their community outreach tours, and representing the company in collaborations with various Atlanta-based arts organizations, including The High Museum, The Alliance Theater, Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and Dad's Garage Theater Company. Jayme has since become a member of the Artist Family at Dad's Garage and a founding member of ImprOper, a comedic opera improv troupe. As a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves, Ms. Alilaw frequently sang for military ceremonies throughout the United States and Middle East.
Driven by a deep passion for traditional Negro spirituals, Jayme has organized concerts and won awards for her research about African American composers. In 2008, she premiered An Afternoon of Spirituals, a concert collaboration of musicians presenting traditional spirituals at the California African American Museum. In 2008 and 2009, Jayme presented her research on African American art song and performed at the National Council of Black Studies Annual Conference. She was awarded the CSUN Association of Retired Faculty Memorial Award, and second place in the CSUN Annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium for this research. Her writings on the subject have been published in the internet magazine Operagasm. Jayme was also a featured performer at the African American Art Song Alliance Conference in 2012, and again in February 2017. Jayme is an innovator, having created La Femme Noire, a concert program that celebrates the contributions of Black womxn composers, poets, and performers in the realm of classical music. She has also partnered with composer and concert pianist B.E. Boykin to create Tapestry, a school and community engagement program that teaches about the origins and attributes of Spirituals through performance and participation.
Jayme currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her daughter. She continues to challenge musical boundaries and be a vocal proponent of works by African American composers.
"Jayme Alilaw's voice is angelic, powerful, and unexpected."