Welcome to the new website! As my digital imprint broadens, I find my musical worlds broadening. Or maybe they’re converging? Or perhaps I’m meeting things where they’ve always been. Whatever the case, I Sing.
On a recent jazz gig I included a couple of “classical pieces.” Oxford Dictionary broadly (there’s that word again!) defines classical music as “…serious or conventional music following long-established principles rather than a folk, jazz, or popular tradition.”
I sang the songs on the gig because they suited my role, the venue, the audience and the fine musicians with whom I had the honor of sharing the bandstand. The pieces have been part of my song-list DNA for years, and I was able to communicate that to the audience in the context of a jazz gig.
Oxford Dictionary defines jazz music as a “…type of music of black American origin characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm, emerging at the beginning of the 20th century. Brass and woodwind instruments and piano are particularly associated with jazz, although guitar and occasionally violin are also used; styles include Dixieland, swing, bebop, and free jazz.”
Here’s my deal: As an American vocal artist, my objective is to do my job as creatively and communicatively as possible in the given situation. My passion is jazz; all music that comes to me shines forth through that prism—including my European “trad” training and professional background, which is a vital, integral part of my overall expression.
Years of musical studying, exploration, practice and performance, success and failure, and life experiences have helped me discern the whats, hows, whens and whys of singing. When all is said and done, though, I arrive at the moment and I Sing. It’s really that simple.
By the way, the two “classical pieces” were Franz Schubert’s setting of Goethe’s “Rastlose Liebe” and Henry Purcell’s “Sweeter Than Roses.” Furthermore, I ended up cutting a Charlie Haden/Abbey Lincoln toon from the list because I sensed this particular jazz audience wouldn’t feel it. Ha!