Trinity Laban Alumnus Wins Amateur Night Live at Harlem Apollo

Trinity Laban graduate Ayanna Witter-Johnson was crowned Super Top Dog at the finals of the famous Amateur Night Live competition in New York on 27 October 2010. Under the roof of the renowned Apollo Theater in Harlem, Ayanna joined a legacy of legendary performers, which include Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight and Luther Vandross. Since the theatre opened in 1934, its signature live show has been a definitive career-making opportunity for new talent, and is revered as one of the most celebrated platforms for showcasing up-and-coming performers.

Ayanna performed a breath-taking, cello enhanced interpretation of Ain't I a Woman, a musical adaptation of an anti-slavery speech given in 1851, which received a standing ovation. She shared the $10,000 top prize with joint-winner, Nathan Foley.

Amateur Night has been running since 1934, existing to promote the music of innovative African-American and Latino artists. Ayanna's achievement at this culturally significant venue secures her place in history alongside a raft of influential predecessors and previous Amateur Night performers including Billie Holiday and James Brown.

Ayanna is a composer, jazz vocalist, cellist and pianist who graduated from Trinity Laban with a First Class Degree and the Vivian Trindl Outreach Prize for the Most Innovative Professional Skills Project.

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