3 03, 2017

Betty Carter: how to sound original


I’m in Montreux with my friends, singers Clare Foster and Twana Rhodes - we’re touring in Switzerland with our colorful close harmony act. As we stroll over one of the afternoon’s sunny plaza’s, all of a sudden Twana spots Betty Carter in the crowd. And they know each other! Do you know that feeling [...]

26 02, 2017

Tony Bennett – How to talk to your audience


  I’m performing in one of Rome’s cutest jazz clubs in the lovely area Monti, as I find myself extensively introducing Angel Eyes. It lends itself perfectly to be sung in a cafe. And blah blah blah. And how convenient this place is. “And hey, look, there’s the bar. Cheers!” As I raise my [...]

5 02, 2017

Stacey Kent: how to interpret your lyrics


I’m at a party, being called upon to ‘sing us a song’ by a group of Aussies, Irish and Brits. As an aspiring jazz singer, 19 years old, I pick my favorite tune by Abbey Lincoln - a fantastic singer, of whom no one in the room ever heard of. The song starts and I [...]

28 01, 2017

Natalie Cole: how to shine!


Don’t you just love getting caught under the spell of the always energetic, glowing and sparkling Natalie Cole. She used to sing R&B, and later found herself in the devoted arms of a global jazz audience with her album Unforgettable, on which she re-recorded standards sung by her father, Nat King Cole. [...]

20 01, 2017

Johnny Hartman – how to sing with ease


I’m listening to They Say It’s Wonderful by the hypnotizing Johnny Hartman. It’s late at night. The sounds linger through the air and curl around my back. How I love that lush, velvety sound. And once again, I’m won and would immediately trust him with my life, my banking codes and my mother’s jewelry. [...]

14 01, 2017

How to keep your voice healthy: Ilse’s top 10 tips


One of my coaches was a classical singer, Gert-Jan Arendsen. With him, I would soar through “Quella Fiamma Che M’Accende”, warble Beethoven’s “Sehnsucht” and yearn “Sospiri di foco”. I just loved zooming in on all technical aspects; breathing, posture, diction, the classical sound. And when the tone would ‘sit’ - it felt as if [...]

6 01, 2017

Kurt Elling – how to stay in tune


  I saw him at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam - he wore very casual mustard yellow pants, and I remember thinking: ‘remarkable choice for a performer’ - when he impressed me deeply with his a capella opening for his very first song. Out of the tree of life he just picked himself a plum. [...]

23 12, 2016

Cassandra Wilson: how to sing looooooow


  When I first heard Cassandra Wilson sing, it sure broke my patterns of expectation. All of a sudden I found myself in a cascade of sounds so dramatic, dark and deep, I nearly drowned. Miss Wilson puts a spell on you and draws you into her magical, mystical world with her hypnotizing voice [...]

16 12, 2016

Rebecca Parris – how to tell your story


I’m a lucky so and so, Rebecca Parris is in town! She’s performing in one of the cutest theatres Amsterdam has to offer: En Pluche. I’m even more lucky, I can sit frontrow. Now let the games begin! Ever heard of Rebecca Parris? She’s Boston’s first lady of jazz, played with many [...]

9 12, 2016

Donna Summer: how to twang (how to what?)


Are you familiar with the works and empowering thoughts of American Life Coach Tony Robbins? On Facebook he shared that he loves music. Well, so do we! He believes in using it as a tool to score moments in your life, to produce different kinds of states. One of the queens of the seventies [...]

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