Jazz Entertainer Akia Uwanda is Today’s Honoree

Raised as an only child, in Jacksonville, FL, Akia Uwanda left much to her imagination. With a vivid imagination, she explored and appreciated different genres of music, art, and culture, which have groomed her to be the entertainer she is today. Akia offers solo and full band services in the musical genres of jazz, smooth jazz, soul/neosoul, r&b and gospel. She is also skilled in acting, modeling, and production of commercial jingles, voiceovers, scores for film, tv, and movies.

Akia Uwanda opened for the Earth Wind & Fire in October 2009…this was a child’s dream realized. She regularly sings at the nationally renowned Casa Monica in St. Augustine, FL and other places around the N. E. Florida area. On Friday, January 8, 2009, Akia performed Lift Every Voice and Sing for the Jacksonville Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce before an audience of thousands.

Coming from a gospel background, coupled with classical piano training, Akia’s talent was nurtured at the early age of seven. Her classical voice training began at the age of 12 and modeling at 15. As a student at Florida A & M University, majoring in physical therapy, she made use of her spare time by modeling in the Epicurean Fashion Experience. To further invest in her craft Akia Uwanda continued to sing and take classical and jazz voice lessons.

Akia starred as the lead role in the original musical/ dramatic play entitled, Majigeen, as Anta, produced by Jennifer Chase. Other lead vocal roles include Velma in Crowns, and Lorrell in Dreamgirls at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida. While living in New York, she performed with NOIZ, an inspirational musical group, for the global launching of Davines, a global hair company, in Milan, Italy. In addition, performing with the Great Day Chorale, a world renowned Negro Spiritual Chorale led by the late Louvinia Pointer who was mother to the late Jazz violinist Noble Pointer, gave Akia Uwanda extreme recognition as a lead 1st and 2nd soprano soloist at concerts held at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. In October 2009, she opened with C1JAZZ for Earth Wind & Fire during the Florida Black Expo concert held at the Jacksonville’s Veteran Memorial Arena. A recent sentimental and memorable performance occurred at the Jacksonville Beach Jazz Series along with a guest appearance from her 8 yr old daughter, Akai Marje, whose following in her footsteps.

Akia Uwanda has performed at numerous affairs, such as singing the National Anthem during a 2003-2004 Jacksonville Sun’s baseball game, and the Annual Cure Drive/ Silent Auction held by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2007, was featured at the 2004 1st Annual Mayor’s Family Summit, and was a featured artist in several events held by Nokturnal Escape and other Jax nightlife events. Her ambition and talent doesn’t stop there.

As a model, she has graced several runways with her “looks like she’s walking on air” stride, as well as, featuring her beauty in numerous magazines such as Blacktress, Sister 2 Sister, Manhattan Bride, Hype Hair, and Today’s Black Woman. Her presence, runway style, and beauty has gained her international recognition by winning 1st place in the International Model of the Year 2001 contest sponsored by Today’s Black Woman magazine. Her passion for the beauty industry granted her the opportunity to be a co-owner of MOSAIC Model and Talent Management. To be accessible to many, Akia Uwanda founded Visionary Consulting Solutions, Inc, a business consulting firm. This firm’s mission is to help profit and not-for-profit organizations conquer their vision.

Visit http://www.akiauwanda.net/html/about.php for more information.

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