The Arts Desk
Preview: ReVoice! 2013
The vocal jazz extravaganza returns for its fourth year
For lovers of vocal jazz, Georgia Mancio’s ReVoice! Festival has become an unmissable part of London’s jazz calendar. Now in its fourth year, ReVoice! has previously played host to artists such as Gregory Porter (his first UK booking), Tuck & Patti, Raúl Midón and the Becca Stevens Band. Running over 10 nights from 10-19 October, this year’s edition is the longest yet, with all concerts hosted at Soho’s Pizza Express Jazz Club.
An award-winning vocalist in her own right, Georgia not only curates and presents the festival but also performs the opening set each night. Little surprise, then, that the Club has named a cocktail after her. Georgia’s duet partners this year are impressively varied, ranging from pianists (Nikki Iles, Ross Stanley, Grant Windsor, Robert Mitchell) and guitarists (Nigel Price, Jim Mullen) to bassists (Dave Chamberlain) and accordionists (Maurizio Minardi, doubling on piano).
The opening two nights of ReVoice! belong to the majestic baritone voice of Kevin Mahogany (10-11 October), who celebrates 20 years as a recording artist in 2013. A three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist”, fellow US vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Allan Harris (12 October) has been named by Tony Bennett as “my favourite singer”.
Following her supremely understated and heartwarming set of classic South American songs in 2011, the great Italian vocalist Barbara Raimondi returns to ReVoice! (13 October) with a fascinating portrait of Ornette Coleman featuring sax player Tony Kofi.
The last time I saw the remarkable Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi was at the 2011 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. A great interpreter of standards, the prospect of seeing him showcase a new writing partnership with the exceptional vocalist, Tina May, is mouthwatering indeed (14 October).
Portuguese-born of Cape Verdean descent, vocalist and guitarist Carmen Souza (15 October) mixes traditional West African rhythms and singing in Creole with contemporary jazz, to singular effect. Carmen won “Best Female Voice” and “Best Morna” (for the song “6 on na Tarrafal”) at this year’s Cabo Verde Music Awards.
I was a huge fan of Beady Belle’s 2010 album At Welding Bridge, so an opportunity to hear the Norwegian band’s fantastically memorable melodies in the intimate environs of Pizza Express Jazz Club is a real treat (16 October).
No stranger to London audiences, having appeared at last year’s ReVoice! with the extraordinary a cappella quartet, Mycale, and at the Barbican earlier this year as part of “Zorn@60”, Argentinian vocalist and composer Sofia Rei (17 October) performs from her award-winning album, De Tierra Y Oro.
Finally, this year’s “Jazz FM UK Vocalist of the Year”, the great Carleen Anderson (18-19 October) makes her debut at the Club and brings ReVoice! to a dazzling conclusion.