Amersfoort Jazz presents: singer-songwriters in World Jazz

In the history of Jazz, there always has been a lack of songwriting vocalists. Many of the most beloved jazz songs began their lives as show tunes, says Sriram Gopal, CapitalBop’s columnist (link website| 2012), who also notes that apart from major songwriting talents Nina Simone and Joni Mitchel, most vocalists sung material from others and (while no one denies their singing abilities), as Gopal states: “there is nothing innovative in that”. For a long time, jazz singer-songwriters who dared to sing an entire set of originals (like Diane Krall), just proved too out-of-the-ordinary for the industry. While commercial and artistic considerations have prevented the rise of the jazz singer-songwriters, and the jazz world at large was not appreciative of their efforts, now anno 2019, the tide is finally turning. Not only are the new jazz vocalists fine singers, and often really good musicians, they are composers as well, performing their own songs with a clear mind about what they seek to portray with them. Amersfoort Jazz presents seven of these quirky vocalists from around the world, who -by the way- happen to be female. From The Netherlands the acclaimed theatre & jazz singer Margriet Sjoerdsma, next to three ‘uncommon nightingales in Dutch Jazz’ on Sunday, May 26th: Anna SerierseSanne Rambags and Marit van der Lei, endorsed by the Dutch conservatories of Amsterdam, Tilburg and Utrecht. From abroad, Amersfoort Jazz is happy to present the willful and outstanding jazz singer-songwriters Claire Parsons (LUX), Wanda Baloyi (SAF) and Susana Sawoff (AUT).

Claire Parsons & Eran Har Even Duo (LUX/ISR)
A young international project by the British/Luxembourgish singer Claire Parsons and the Israeli guitarist Eran Har Even. Claire Parsons is a jazz vocalist, composer and keyboardist (playing little Moog synthesizers), who studied in Brussels with David Linx, also with Stephan Galland. In 2018 she won the price for ‘best upcoming musician’ at the Luxembourg Music Awards and starring at the Luxembourg Jazz Meeting, she rightfully earned her endorsement to the festival Amersfoort Jazz 2019. Eran Har Even is an Edison nominated Israeli guitarist and composer, currently residing in Amsterdam, who is a gifted jazz soloists with his hands, while conjuring beautiful fx scapes with his feet. The duo is blending contrasting colours into original compositions, combining wisdom and experience with vision and imagination, also a bit of witty charme and smooth romance. The duo performs twice at Amersfoort Jazz. The first concert is on Saturday, May 25th, in the Amersfoort Jazz Heritagevenue de Sint Rochuskapel; the second concert is on Sunday, May 26th, part of the Sena Performers International Jazz Laureate Festival in De Lieve Vrouw (theatre).

Wanda Baloyi a.k.a. Queen Choco (SAF)
Wanda Baloyi is back in the musical spotlight with a new album, after a three-year hiatus. Titled ‘Love & Life’, her project marks a new creative approach for Wanda. Wanda Baloyi is a singer-songwriter, well known to the public in Southern Africa, who regard her a ‘truly a wonder’. Born to Mozambican musicians in Johannesburg, the 37-year-old Wanda is a multi-talented artist, dabbling in soul-touching tunes, jazzy beats, house tracks and more.Wanda performs twice at Amersfoort Jazz. The first concert is on Friday, May 24th, during the Sena Performers International Jazz Laureate Festival in De Lieve Vrouw (theatre)the second concert is on Saturday evening, May 25th, at de Hof Tree Stage.

Exit Universe (AUT)
Susana Sawoff is a singer/pianist from Austria, nominated three times for Austria’s biggest music award ‘Amadeus’. Over the last years she has been touring northern Europe with several artistic configurations, but always as a leader, being the singing and songwriting front artist. Anno 2018, she re-united with her former spouse Raphael Meinhart (vibes, percussion, synthesizer) to form the artistic duo Exit Universe, meandering between jazz, indie and neo classic. The duo produces perfectly balanced soundscapes, unveiling a touching intimacy and emotional depth. Exit Universe will perform twice at Amersfoort Jazz 2019. The first concert is on Saturday, May 25th, in the new festival venue de Johanneskerk; the second concert is on Sunday. May 26th, in de Mannenzaal.