"Her powerful voice is characterized by superb diction...heartfelt intonation...and often aching beauty."
- All About Jazz
Born in between the off beats, and bump and grind of the Disco-Funk Era in Chicago, Chanda has been weaving stories through song, humming melodies, and bending words since her childhood. After graduating from Howard University, she took a flight to New York with dreams of using her freshly-earned journalism degree on Madison Avenue. Daunted by rush hour and cubicles, she turned to music for solace and soon after began her professional career in musical theater, appearing in a variety of productions, from New Jersey’s Hudson Shakespeare Company and regional tours, to "Hair, The Musical" in Amsterdam and Milan.
Her “bewitching voice,”as described by the Baltic Times, has a flexibility and range that has graced a variety of musical projects: from "Feeling Good: The Gospel According to Nina Simone" where she was featured with sax powerhouse Donny McCaslin, gospel fests and workshops with the legendary Golden Gospel Singers, and concerts with the Outreach Orchestra, to appearing as a featured vocalist on Ö1 "Jazznacht," tours with Kirk Lightsey and Zimbabwe’s Nobuntu, performing with Russian classical pianist Denis Matsuev’s Crescendo Festival, and sharing her song and sound with digital performance art projects and folkloric dance companies. She has also performed as an opening act for India.Arie, Amel Larrieux, Angela Bofill, Regina Belle & The Whispers, and on live television for ORF's Dancing Stars.
Chanda’s Langston Hughes inspired concert series, “I Too Speak of a River,” was granted the Harlem Stage Fund for New Works, and “Listening to Roots and Voicing Branches,” a multimedia theater piece she penned and performed with Okay Africa recording artist Somi was presented at New York’s Apollo Theater.
Her passion for interfaith dialogue – both through music and story, led her to Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University where she received her Masters degree in Theological studies with a focus on Practical Theology and the Arts. She shares her joy of song leading, story and gospel music through her RiseUpGospel workshops, Music that Makes Community, and published written works.
Recordings: Like|Water (2005), I Too Speak of a River (2007), LIVE in Schwaz (2009), Rise Up (2010), Surrender (2010), Feelin' Good(2011), Homebound (2013) Projects with Kirk Lightsey and Martin Reiter to be released in 2018.