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Wooing fans with her unique musical style

American jazz singer Jacqui Naylor, who will be in Singapore this month, is an eclectic combo of musical influences that fashions her personal style.
 

Photo: Jacqui Naylor 

 

Her arresting vocals bear a striking semblance to Diana Krall, and the entrancing grooves makes her sound a distinctive stand-out. And, jazz fans can catch American jazz singer Jacqui Naylor and instrumentalist Art Khu, who will be presenting their exciting repertoire for their Singapore debut on October 26 at Maduro, Dempsey Road. 

And, this is one gig to watch for: The highly-versatile musician transverses between smoky jazz and folk-rock or adult alternative, effortlessly. Her influences are diverse: From Blossom Dearie, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, June Christy, Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, Carole King to Bill Withers and more. 

 

Photo: Jacqui Naylor 

 

Jacqui creates a rich variety of sounds, textures and forms, from the highly structured arrangement through more conventional jazz treatment to abstract free improvisation, in her music. She tells Her World: “Jazz is often described as a conversation among musicians, bringing ideas together in the moment. It never gets old, an ever-evolving conversation between musicians and audience.”

Jacqui’s upcoming 11th album, The Long Game, is due for release in March 2020. It’s a combination of jazz standards, classic rock covers and original music. 

She did not always know she was going to be a musician. Although she spent more than decade dabbling with voice lessons and gospel choirs, even studying with the San Francisco-based jazz vocal teacher Faith Winthrop, who is the founding director of Glide Memorial's famed choir, Jacqui still enjoyed her job as the marketing director for clothing designer, Lat Naylor. 

“While I loved marketing and fashion, I felt like the music was really at the core, what I needed to be doing,” says Jacqui who quit her job and recorded her 1998 self-titled debut album.

 

MUSICAL STYLE

 

Photo: Jacqui Naylor 

 

Acoustic smashing is something unique that the talented musician has made her stock-in-trade.  This intriguing way of arrangement that Jacqui developed with Art mixes genres from different eras together. 

Jacqui explains: “I sing the melody and lyrics of a popular jazz song while the band plays the groove of a well-known pop or rock anthem or vice versa. Usually the connection is a bass line with similar chord progressions.”

She covered her own version of Rodgers and Hart classic My Funny Valentine over ACDC’s Back in Black, which is one of her most popular songs to date. Her previous 10 albums, available throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia are a mixture of jazz standards, covers and original music. You Don’t Know Jacq and Lucky Girl released in both 2008 and 2011 respectively, have a great repertoire of her best creations.

 

 

Jacqui has also been praised for her exciting takes on contemporary tunes like Bowie’s Space Oddity and a popular Bossa Nova version of REM’s Losing My Religion, featured on So You Think You Can Dance for a tango competition. 

“I want to encourage as many people as possible with whatever I do. I am lucky that is through music,” she says.

 

Watch them live: Two Nights Only feat. Jacqui Naylor & Art Khu 

When: October 25 and 26, 9pm to 12am

Address: Maduro, 40C Harding Road, Level 3

Seats are limited with only 55 tickets per evening and reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, please email reservations@maduro.sg or call / Whatsapp +65 9756 4775.

 

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