The jazz voice to be celebrated in all its glory

It’s now in its third year and already Georgia Mancio’s ReVoice! Festival looks to be one of the finest celebrations of jazz singing there is.

What I particularly like about it is that it doesn’t seem to have an agenda, a bias to this or that style, to “in the tradition” or “out there”. If it’s vocal and it’s good, then Georgia is interested.

This 2012 ReVoice! Festival runs between 11 and 20 October, the first eight days at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean St, Soho, London, and the last two with big name showcase gigs at The Union Chapel.

Not that I’m suggesting the Pizza Express singers aren’t big names, you understand. Maybe not quite so high-profile outside of jazz is all – with one notable exception, of course.

The Festival was to have opened with Claudia Acuna. She has since had to withdraw, but who has Georgia bagged in her place but her old friend (she was the first to book him in the UK) the amazing, and amazingly popular, Gregory Porter. I think that’s a result in anyone’s book. Gregory is doing two shows on Friday 12 October.

So who else does she have on the bill?

Well, holding the torch aloft for British vocal jazz is the mighty Liane Carroll, just today nominated for a British Jazz Award, and no stranger to awards in the past. Her latest album, Up And Down, is creating a stir and sounds like her best work yet. She will be at the Pizza Express on Monday 15 October.

Representing the new sound from the US is Gretchen Parlato’s buddy Becca Stevens and her band. Becca is at the forefront of the musicians mixing jazz savvy in with the folk/country/bluegrass tradition (Chris Thile is another, and so is Aoife O’Donovan) and in addition to writing very strong songs and having a superglue-tight band, she does a winning version of The Smiths’ There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

Becca and her band are on Tuesday 16 October.

And maybe most intriguing of all, is Mycale, an a cappella quartet formed by that – what shall we call him? – “adult terrible” of the New York downtown scene, John Zorn? They perform Zorn’s music, and Georgia describes the group thus:

“Tammy Scheffer’s Hasidic/Brooklyn roots, meets Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s Israeli roots, Sofia Rei Koutsovitis’s Argentinean folkloric sound and Malika Zarra’s Moroccan muses to present Zorn’s remarkarable music like you’ve never heard it before with lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, French and Arabic.”

This will be another first UK booking for ReVoice! and Mycale are on Thursday 18 October.

Finally, those Union Chapel gigs. On Friday 19 October the star is Raul Midón, the American/Argentinian singer, guitarist and songwriter. On Saturday 20 October Tuck & Patti bring their charming blend of guitar and soulful vocals to the same venue.

There’s loads more in the programme, including performances by the Festival organiser herself. Georgia Mancio provides support on all nights, each time in a different format with different musicians. Now that’s what I call working hard!

Find out all you need to know and book your tickets now at www.revoicefestival.com



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