Nazelah Jamison

nazelah jamison is a talented and energetic performance poet, actress and vocalist based in Oakland CA. Born in Bamberg, SC, nazelah had a love of performance from a very early age, taking her first dance lessons at the age of 4.

At age 7, nazelah began a 6-year love affair with ballet, performing with the Atlanta Dance Theater. After dabbling for a bit in modeling, nazelah pursued her first true ambition: acting. She studied at Philadelphia Creative & Performing Arts from which she graduated and went on to study journalism at Temple University.

nazelah began playing music with bands in 1992, first as a vocalist and then a keyboardist in a few local Philly bands, as well as recording vocals for various local artists. She was a background vocalist on Michael Franti’s Spearhead album “Home” (Capitol 1994) and toured with the band nationally & globally until settling in the East Bay in 1996. nazelah trained for a couple of years at Jean Shelton Actor’s Studio (SF), then started performing poetry in 1998. She was part of a performance poetry project with French hip hop artists Les Nubians; nazelah is featured on the album, “Les Nubians Presents: Echos: Chapter One Nubian Voyager (2005 Triloka Records/Artemis)”.

nazelah discovered Poetry Slam in 1999 and began to compete, subsequently going to the National Poetry Slam Competition 5 times on various Bay Area teams. More recently, she and her husband, poet Dahled, produce the Oakland Poetry Slam & have coached Team Oakland to Nationals the last 3 years. Since 2000, she has been hosting many Bay Area spoken word events as well.