b. Kristine Browne, 12 July 1953, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Colson studied at Kenwood High School before entering Northwestern University School of Music and then Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University. Subsequently, she became a member of The Board of Directors of The Jazz Institute of Chicago and was also involved with the producers of Chicago’s Underground Fest and the Blacklight Film Festival. At the age of 19, an African friend remarked, ‘You are Iqua’, the name given to female singers in his village and from then onwards she used this as her stage name, gradually adopting it for all purposes. In 1975, she married pianist Steve Colson and in 1982 the couple moved to New Jersey. On occasion, she has led bands at women’s jazz festivals and has also appeared at many venues around the world in collaboration with her husband. As a singer, she has been named a Vocal Talent Deserving Wider Recognition by DownBeat and recognized by Billboard for distinguished achievement as a lyricist. Deeply involved in the creative arts and in education in Chicago and New York City, as well as numerous places in the New Jersey area, Colson has helped develop and launch many projects, especially those bringing music education of a very high standard to schools in New Jersey. Among the lyrics she writes are those set to the music of her husband.
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