Emma Smith stops by on Close-up Culture to preview her upcoming performance at The Pheasantry (Chelsea).
The show takes place on 4 April – for ticket info.
Q: You will be performing at The Pheasantry as part of the Jazz Divas 2020 series. How excited are you to be part of this series of shows?
A: I’ve been looking forward to this show for many months, it’s a highlight in my calendar! The Peasantry is such a stunning room to play in too.
Q: You have chosen to feature the music of Blossom Dearie. When did you first connect with Blossom’s music?
A: Blossom totally stopped me in my tracks when I was beginning my discovery of the great jazz singers of the 20th century, whilst I was studying for my A-levels at the Purcell School of Music in 2007. I was an instant fan.
Q: What has Blossom’s work meant to you over the years and how has it helped you as an artist?
A: More than anything, Blossom has inspired me to be who I am, unapologetically so! Our quirks are our magic. Blossom wore this attitude to life with pride and boldness.
Q: Can you tell us about your preparation for this show and what the audience can expect from your interpretation of Blossom’s music?
A: I am working on a set which I feel encapsulates the spirit of Blossom Dearie, but with my own vocal sound and interpretation. I’ll be covering her work with the classic Great American songbook as well as more unusual pickings from the pen of Dave Frishberg, Bob Dorough and Miles Davis. I will also be paying special homage to the 1966 recording she made live from Ronnie Scott’s, as this album has been a huge influence on me.
Q: You will be on stage with pianist Jamie Safir. Can you tell us about your connection and why you work so well as a team?
A: Jamie Safir and I have been playing music together for over 10 years now (over a third of our lives!). We understand each other first and foremost as humans, and this is what makes our musical connection so incredibly unique and special. Our rapport on stage is infectious, we finish each others musical sentences. I guess that’s what happens when you collaborate with your best friend!
Q: What are your hopes for the show?
A: I hope that our audience walk away with a spring in their step, a sense of wonder at the world and a thirst for more joyful live music experiences!
Saturday April 4th Emma Smith sings the Music of Blossom Dearie with Jamie Safir – piano
Doors 7pm. Music 8.30pm. Tickets: £20