Archive for the ‘vancouver jazz concert’ Category

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Karin’s Q & A with vocalist Jaclyn Guillou

May 18, 2015
It’s Sunday May 17th and about 2 weeks from now American vocalist Kate McGarry (a favorite of mine and of vocalist Jaclyn Guillou) is coming to perform in Vancouver along with her wonderful guitarist husband Keith Ganz. There’s much excitement building up to their first ever Canadian performance. This will be the 3rd of the Joy Of Jazz Concert Series shows at St. James Hall.
I thought it might be fun to get Jaclyn’s perspective on Kate’s influence and appeal. Here is my little Q & A with Jaclyn’s thoughtful and detailed responses. Jaclyn is a wonderful vocalist and composer in her own right and has graciously taken the time to answer my questions while in the midst of recording her new album…
Kate-&-Keith
1. What in particular do you like about Kate’s style/approach to singing?
I have always been drawn to singers that have an open hearted rich quality to the way they express a story and lyrics. Singers like Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Shirley Horn and Nancy King for example. Kate is amongst these singers, as she is deeply connected to the lyrics and also allows herself to draw closer to the music, exploring notes she would like to emphasize within the song. She honors the tradition and takes the melody to improvise around it in such a beautiful way without disrupting the lyrics. That is a hard thing to do. It is very apparent to me that she has an incredible amount of vocal technique but you can never “hear the technique” because her approach to the voice is expressed in an extremely natural way. That is what I love most about her singing. Above all, she spends time thinking about the arrangements and comes up with a unique interpretation that doesn’t distract from the original, it enhances it. And all of her choices, especially in her embellishments, come from within the message of the song. This creates a deep layered approach that brings so much more to the music and engages the listener to be able to hear the entire band surrounding her voice. I can listen to her albums over and over again experiencing new things each time.
2.  In what ways has the music of Kate McGarry influenced or informed your own style?
 Kate’s soloing has been the most inspiring thing. She has concrete ideas that don’t sound mechanical or cold. And while it’s easy to listen to, it’s not easy to transcribe, an example of her vast vocabulary and understanding of the changes on each tune.
Her arranging and overall general vibe of her albums have also been inspiring to me. Excluding her recent release, all of her recordings feature 2 chordal instruments (guitar and piano) with bass and drums in a quintet format and have arrangements that fully support her vocal choices. Her tunes yield a particular groove and vibe but don’t appear to feel dictated or overly arranged. It won’t always be a straight ahead or swing feel, maybe a slower straight 8ths tempo with everyone playing in the right places that lift her voice in a powerful way. In her albums Target & If Less Is More..Nothing Is Everything with Gary Versace & Keith Ganz there seems to be a collaborative sound going on which has certainly inspired me to be more part of the band.
3. Do you have favorite songs as recorded by Kate from her various acclaimed records over the years?
My favorite tracks of hers are sometimes tunes that I wasn’t too fond of or have been tired of hearing and she has converted me to become instantly in love with her versions. I remember feeling that way when I heard  “Can’t Help Loving That Man” from her duo album with Keith Ganz. I’ll name one favorite tune from each of her recordings: from The Target “It Might As Well Be Spring”, from Girl Talk “We Kiss In A Shadow”, from Less Is More “You’re My Thrill”, from Mercy Streets “How Deep Is The Ocean”, from Show Me “Gypsy In My Soul”.
4. The live record Genevieve & Ferdinand (except for one track) is a duo record with guitar/voice combination. Are there qualities you were able to hear in this record compared to other ensemble recordings which Kate has made?
I was certainly excited to hear her voice in this duo format because it truly is such a different thing playing duo! I am such a fan of Keith’s playing and it has been wonderful to hear him accompany her in such an acoustic way. The first time I heard Kate in concert 4 years ago was in duo with Keith so I know that the album must have been a long time coming. The intimate sound in her voice is highlighted on this album but it doesn’t feel like a departure from all her other recordings. It is a special treat that they shared this side of their playing for all of us to enjoy.
5. Kate is also a composer (as you are) What do you enjoy about her original compositions? 
In my opinion it is actually because Kate is a composer is what makes her a great interpreter. There is always a fresh approach to the tune regardless of whether she wrote it or not. In her own compositions I can appreciate the way that the lyrics and melody create a synthesis together. You don’t notice either one on its own so much which to me means that there are no sacrifices being made in order to find a more interesting note or word. They work as one and the feeling that exudes all of that is expressive and very much alive. Her song “Ten Little Indians” is one of the most beautiful pieces of music, it gets me every time.
6. If you were to describe what a new listener might experience at a Kate McGarry concert, what might you tell them in advance?
I would tell music lovers that despite whatever genres they might usually be interested in will not matter when it comes to this concert. That Kate & Keith will bring them into a whole new world of sound, so they should go for the experience of that. If you are looking for music that is real and without pretense, this will be a delight.
7. How did you personally discover Kate McGarry’s music?
I was first introduced to Kate by way of Randy Porter (piano player from Portland) who was working with me on my first album. We were discussing various singers and he was going through a list of all his favorites and all of a sudden he stopped dead in his tracks and said “You know Kate McGarry right? If you don’t, you must check her out right away! That’s your kind of singing, I just know it.” A few months later I drove 4 hours to Tacoma, Washington in the pouring rain to see her play. A night I will never forget!
So dear reader….if you’re reading this and it is not yet Sunday May 31st you still have a chance to obtain tickets to see this remarkable duo perform in Vancouver at St. James Hall. Go to http://www.joyofjazzconcerts.com
In closing here’s a little pic of us on stage at “Strong Women Strong Music” (Jaclyn Guillou & Karin Plato) from about a year ago now…
Jaclyn-&-Karin
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Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz…for the love of music

April 28, 2015

For the love of music…That’s right! The love of music is the reason I decided to produce the “Joy of Jazz Concerts” series in Vancouver.  Over a year ago now I began to sculpt and hone and shape my idea of presenting a small concert series which would enable the musicians to perform a nuanced and dynamic program where each and every note, phrase, word and musical line would be heard by the audience.  It’s all about the intimate and shared experience of a jazz performance whereby freedom of expression and playing in the moment help create the situation where both the listener and the music makers come together and connect and experience a type of bond.

The 3rd and final concert of this inaugural season takes place at the end on Sunday May 31 at St. James Hall.  Entitled “Songbird of May” the concert will feature Grammy nominee vocalist Kate McGarry and her husband Keith Ganz; an absolutely exceptional guitarist. This will be their Canadian debut and I certainly wish for a warm Vancouver welcome for the two of them. It is true that here in Vancouver Kate and Keith might not necessarily be house hold names.  I am one of several jazz fans who admire and appreciate these two fine artists and their approach to music making. Together they have made several recording together within larger ensembles and their latest release “Genevieve & Ferdinand” is a celebration of their ten year marriage and musical relationship. It’s a duo record and the recording has been receiving rave reviews from music columnists and reviewers everywhere. If not yet widely known in Vancouver, Kate and Keith are certainly well known in the USA and beyond and they have fans all around the world.

Genevieve-&-F

As I am concert presenter I believe I must cling to that adage “if you build it, they will come” and I need to continue to work on spreading the word of the upcoming concert in a variety of ways. I admit to having had a few insomnia-filled nights as I worry about how to attract a full house for these acclaimed musicians. Let me tell you more about Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz and why I love their music so much.

DUO kate

Kate and Keith perform what I call “music without glam or glitz”. It’s all about the soul, the story, the improvisations.  Those who know, really KNOW about these two great musicians and are well aware of their exciting musical chemistry and the high level of artistry they present in concerts and on recordings. Kate and Keith dig deep within songs you may have heard before but will hear again for the first time as new meaning announces itself within the lyric interpretation and harmonic development and soundscape. They seem to dig deeper still into their own souls and reveal some fragility while remaining strong at the same time (yes, that might sound like a contradiction) The duo remain confident in their exploration of the human condition. Their candor and truth allows us to experience our own personal stories and emotions and reactions. We are gently led on a type of journey that lays it all out on the table: this is life, this is love, this is sorrow, this is beauty, this is in the moment, this happened, this is connection…

KATE BLACK WHITECrop-K-&-K

It’s not all a deep chasm of serious stuff. There’s joyful abandon in the musical motifs and rhythms and improvisations.  There’s exhilaration in the energy release in the faster burning grooves and the interplay between voice and guitar. Above all there remains this truth seeking within each song interpretation. We breathe more deeply, we listen, we dance, we experience, we think, we identify, we remember.

Tickets are available now at Brownpapertickets.com  or follow links at www.joyofjazzconcerts.com You can also buy tickets at Red Cat Records on Main Street in Vancouver.

Special thank you to The Georgia Straight, Stikjazz Music, The Rogue Folk Club, Oceanwest Construction and to Coastal Jazz and Blues Society.