The president of the jury: Youn Sun Nah, which gave an amazing concert yesterday said a few words:
“You are all highly talented, it was really difficult. You are all fine artists, thank you so much. We must remember that music is not competitive – it is a research”
“We chose four candidates:”
Kenny Wesley (USA)
Paula Grande (Spain)
Wojciech Myrczek (Poland)
Anastasiya Volokitina (Russia)
Everything is prepared, lights on, the Jury on its chairs!! Our Live-streaming ready!!!This year there were 101 entries from 34 different countries, and only 9 are selected.
The president of the Jury will be Mrs Youn Sun Nah.
The commentator presented this new edition and presented also the first participant….
16:11 Franziska Bruecker (Switzerland)
She thanks to be here and tells that she hope that the public will enjoy.
She starts singing the theme of Four (Miles Davis) alone, scatting, then comes the band and the second time she sings it with lyrics.
Now she scats! Beautiful clean voice. Some rhythmical games with the band! The theme again after applause from the public.
She ends up with a smile.
The next song she is singing is her own arrangement of Butterfly by Herbie Hancock.
She starts recording percussion effects with the voice on a loop with a Stompbox. Then she sings different lines and creates beautiful harmonies! Then she sings the melody with the lyrics!
She prepared it really well! It works a lot! She receives a big applause and leaves the stage. (16:19)
16:20 Rugile Daujotaite (Lithuania)
Rugile arrives and say hello people, she is happy to stay here.
She is going to playing Nica´s Dream, she says that she wrote her own lyrics, about respect and understanding between people and nature.
She picks up the flute and starts the intro playing it, then she sings her lyrics. The arrangement is bossa-style. She sings the song and then she improvises. She is a good performer, she is happy at the stage, dancing all the time. Piano solo. She improvises scatting, then she sings the theme again.
At the CODA she plays with the pianist and the drummer taking the song high.
“The second song is one of the most beautiful ballads in jazz history, it is Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk”
Free intro with piano and voice. She creates a beautiful smooth atmosphere…then she sings the theme in the same mood.
Her range is big and she knows it, she plays with it.
Then the swing comes and she has a good timing! After she sang the theme, something happened because the pianist didn´t start directly with the solo…yes he does it now. Then she sings with more energy…and at the end the rhythm changes to something like cha-cha-cha and ends the theme with a quotation of Miles Davis.
Applause and she leaves…16:36.
16:39 Paula Grande (Spain)
She says: “Je ne sais pas si je dois dire bonjour ou bonsoir…donc, je vais dire les deux: Bonjour et Bonsoir”.
“I’m happy to be here, it is an honor for me. First of all Im gonna sing Nica´s Dream”
The song starts with an intro of Piano and voice, and she sings really true!
She starts vocalizing (That’s why we are here, ecasue we love jazz,and Im happy to be here), then she continues with the lyrics.
Scat, vocalize, some soul licks, she really feel the lyrics.
The band is comfortable.
The second song is “In a sentimental mood” by Duke Ellington .I want to dedicate it to the people that are with me but are not here, one is.The song starts with an intro by the piano, bass and voice.
She sings the lyrics from the heart. Beautiful voice.
She scats with good timing…she sings the theme again and and then she vocalize again thanking for being there…taking the song “higher, higher, higher” and then coming back to the atmosphere of the intro.16:50
16:51 Eszter Munkácsy (Hungary)
She comes on the stage, picks up the microphone and begins to sing the theme with lyrics with the drummer. When the solo comes the bass begins to play and later the piano.
She scats! Then some “fours” with the band, the theme again and end.
After Four, she says that she will do “My favorite things” arranged by her.
Rhythmical intro, with a great funk/soul bass line, unison with piano. Then she sings it in a very Soul way! Piano solo! Theme again! And then the intro, with some scat and percussion improvisation! Then drums solo over the intro and end! (17:00)
17:02 Wojciech Myrczek (Poland)
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I´m happy to be here and I´m going to sing Lush Life.
He starts with a beautiful deep baritone voice…he is making a good performance of this difficult song! His scatting is good!! Big Range,
For the next song, the bass player leaves the stage and he starts singing the theme of “So What” (Miles Davis), replacing the bass. After the theme he does the walking bass comping the piano player and the drums. Now he is scatting imitating a double-bass! And he is able to do it very well!! Wow!
Then he sings the theme again!
We will have 20-30 min pause and we will continue with the last 4 participants!!
The second half starts!!!
17:34 Walter Ricci (Italy)
The first song will be Fascinating rhythm by George and Ira Gershwing! He told me that he changed his second song and it is going to be Body and Soul!
It is a Cha cha cha arrangement, he feels good on the stage. There´s piano solo and then theme again.
He has a good tenor/crooner/Napolitan voice! He has a good presence
He begins Body and soul singing a cappella, ballad tempo, then with the band. (17:42)
17:43 Emma Smith (UK)
She picks up the mic and she speaks to the public She says that she is going to sing a traditional old English folk song, “She is like the swallow”.
She feels very confident. The song starts with an ostinato with she singing above in a folky way.
Then she sings the melody.Her voice is wide. Her scatting is really accurate.
She introduces her own arrangement of Boplicity!
It is a very energetic version! Full power! She sings the theme with and without the band, big breaks, good!!
Her scatting is reaaally good, good timing! Now a good piano solo!
Break! And she sings the first part of the song again a cappella…then the band again and at the end more scatting! Taking the song up!
17:56 Anastasiya Volokitina (Russia)
She says “hi”.
She starts with claps and vocal percussion with the drums and then she begins to sing Fascinating Rhythm. She improvises scatting, with interesting lines! Then the theme again and it changes to fast latin rhythm.
Now she introduces her own song, “Kochki”, that she composed when she was in the region of Antai in Russia.
It starts with a very complicated and interesting rhythm and beautiful harmony. The melody is great!
She uses a Jew´s Harp!! Her scatting is full of influences of the folk music of the Balkans and Russia. Her composition is amazing! She is very expressive! It ends up with piano and voice. Beautiful!
18:08 Kenny Wesley
“It is a dream to be here”…He speaks in french also.
He introduces Nica´s Dream by Horace Silver.
He sings it with a falsetto voice almost al the time. Sensual approach to the tune. When the pianist makes his solo, he makes “musical commentaries”.
He sings the theme again and at the end he finishes with a very high note!
He introduces “My favorite things”, he sings it, like the song before, very smoth! He uses more his natural voice in this one. The solo is interesting; he has a very good technique! Long high note again really in tune!
He can play with the band during the solo! Then he sings some lyrics! More improvising with lyrics, and the song goes up and up! And then down, down. He is a good performer!
The last singer finished, and the Jury left to deliberate!
We will tell you soon what happens!
Welcome to the SHURE Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2013!
I’m Luis Regidor Paín and I’ll be right at the Petite Theatre to tell you everyting about the participants, the band and what’s happening there!
We arrived at 9am and the sound engineers where already working. The band rehearsed a little bit (they have to play 2 songs from each of the 9 participants and rehearse 30 min with each and everyone of them, it was a really hard day for them).
The participants rehearsed from 10am till 4pm, with a small break.
I was there, with all the SHURE team, and the Montreux Foundation 2 team, taking note of what happened at the rehearsals and making interviews to all participants.
10:00 am Franziska Brücker (Switzerland) (1989)
The first song that she is going to rehearse with the band is “FOUR” (Miles Davis). She has a really sweet and clean voice. She enjoys scatting!
After singing it, she calls the sound engineers to help her with “something”…she has a Stompbox!
She starts the song “Butterfly” with a loop made by vocal percussion. She picks up a tuning fork and uses it to find the first note that she will sing, and begins to create interesting harmonies recording one voice over another…she adds some “ahhh ehhh ahhh” and some “bebebe”…and starts singing with a beautiful voice…she checks and plays with the loops,
She asks for more reverb.
She is asking if she can repeat it and the organization tells her that she has 10 more min. This second time seems to me much more confidence. It flows. She smiles
It is a big challenge what she’s doing !!!
Good luck Franziska!!
10:30am Rugile Daujotiate (Lithuania) (1988)
She arrives almost running directly to the stage.
She gives the scores to the band. The first song is “Round Midnight” (Thelonious Monk). She starts quoting the intro of Miles Davis. She’s working with the band, repeating parts. She looks to the public. It sounds good! I should say that her voice sounds “old”.
She sings an intro with lyrics, open chords, she asks for more rubato to the pianist…her scat is really accurate, very much in tune, big range.
She feels comfortable, she even dances while the pianist is doing a solo.
At the end she quotes again Miles.
The second song is Nica’s Dream (Horace Silver). She talks with the band, takes a flute, tries the microphone…then she tells the pianist how the rhythm is.
She says: “For the intro I need the reverb for make it really mysterious”.
Intro: She is playing the flute and singing at the same time (like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull)…she told me that she wrote her own lyrics! Well done! Some Bossa, afro samba….she dances, she can good acting..good timing and virtuous scatting…piano solo…it ends up with scatting again.
Good idea using the flute!
Good luck Rugile!
11:00am Paula Grande (Spain) 1986
Paula was selected last year also but couldn’t come because of medical problems, I’m happy the she was selected again.
She speaks with the band…she is singing Nica’s Dream…intro with some Soul licks…she says: “I want it not dramatic but serious”
The second song is “In a sentimental mood” (Duke Ellington)…balad!! Oh yeah!!
Good communication with the band! She has a beautiful voice…the soul is always in her expression.
She is very gentle and friendly with the band.
Good luck Paula!
11:30am Eszter Munkácsy (Hungary) (1991)
The first song is “My favorite things” (Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II). She is starts with a very rhythmical intro, offbeats, a little bit of soul7funk. The bass is showing us the way! She sings really in tune.
The second song is “Four” (Miles Davis). Soul voice.
As a good Hungarian, she is very rhythmic.
Good luck Eszter!!
12:00am Wojciech Myrczek (Poland (1987)
He talks to the pianist. Smiles and looks at his watch. He checks the microphone. He seems to control the situation. The pianist tries the chords. He starts singing with a loud, deep and beautiful baritone voice, crooner style.
Wow he starts with Lush Life (Strayhorn), really difficult one!
He seems to be relaxed. He sings in tune, plays with the rhythm.
Super scat! Bebop licks, playing with motives, like a sax.
Be careful with the last scale…the pianist must wait for him. He says: “thank you very much, guys”
The second song will be “So what” (Miles Davis). He sings the bass line with the drums.
He asks the public what they prefer: with or without drums at the beginning. Rugile says: “try without”. He tries again, without and with, and asks again. Rugile and Paula who are here say better with! (there is a good feeling between the participants!)
He is singing the walking bass, he will sing the bass in this song actually!
He asks again: “Does it sound good?” ………..”Yes”, we answer.
He tries again. Then Lush life intro again.
Then we had a pause till 2:00pm. I was doing interviews to the participants that already rehearsed. They told me really interesting things!
2:00pm Walter Ricci (Italy) (1989)
The first song is “This could be the start of something” (Steve Allen). Crooner style, Old Italian (napolitan) singer.
He seems very confident! He does some bebop scats. Nice tenor voice.
He wants to modulate at the end half tone higher.
The arrangement sounds like a big band.
The second song is Fascinating Rhythm. Some old crooner movements (Sinatrian movements J ). Good timing, good entertainer.
He asks for more sound at the end! He rehearses again the first song and it sounds much better.
Good luck Walter!
2:30pm Emma Smith (UK) (1990)
She will start with Boplicity, difficult choice!
Emma starts solo with piano, the scores in her hand, explains to the pianist to continue with a motive (ostinato). Nice voice, a little bit pop, she explains everything really clear in every moment, she knows what she is doing.
She has a very melodic scat.
The second song is a traditional English folk song: “She likes the swallow”.
She has a good timing, very accurate with the lyrics. The more she rehearses the better it sounds. She feels and transmits what she feels.
Good luck Emma!
3:00pm Anastasiya Volokitina (Russia) (1989)
She starts with her own composition: “Kochki”, written with Russian lyrics. It sounds a little bit like Russian folk music, with interesting and complicated rhythm. She explains the rhythm to the drummer and the bass. She says that she will show always when the theme starts.She is going to one musician to another almost jumping because of the hurry of time, trying to organize it, but it seems to be very beautiful music.
Yes it sounds better!
Beautiful voice, original, good intonation. At the end piano and voice. Lyrics with trompet effect.
The second song that she rehearses is Fascinating Rhythm. The drummer asks something. She answers: “do what you want, you are free, me too”.
She starts claping, then drums, she smiles, dances
scat…Good pronunciation! She feels it!
She is a good performer.
At the end: Fast latin rhythm,
scat like a trumpet, trombone…
She is FUNNY!!!
Now she is using a Jew’s Harp!
She rehearses again the Russian song, it sounds great.
And she rehearses again fascinating rhythm
Good Luck Anastasiya!
3:30pm Kenny Wesley (USA) (1982)
He starts with Nica’s Dream (Horace Silver). He uses an Ipod to read the lyrics.
He uses falsetto almost the whole time the time. Some Pop/soul influences. He has a really good technique, and sings really in tune. Some latin rhythms. He ends up with an ascending arpeggio in falsetto till a very high note! Maybe G#…I will ask him!
The second song is “My favorite things”!
He seems to be very intelligent, he doesn’t force his too much, saving energy for the semifinal,
his improvisations are soul style, but really groovy, also some countertenor licks, really high notes.
He is a great performer. He shows a little bit that he can dance…
He repeats the song. He enjoys and the band also enjoys
He thanks the band; they seem happy and relaxed with him.
Good luck Kenny!!
What can you expect 2013?
Who is blogging?
Sabine Kühlich talks to Quincy Jones, head of the jury, about the competion.
The room is packed. Press is there, waiting for the competition to start. Our live-stream is already online. And: I was just asked to fill the space while the jury deliberates and play some tunes with this nice band. YES! This will be very spontaneous – no charts, no prepared arrangements, no high heels … but certainly: JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ SWING JAZZ LATIN JAZZ BLUES JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ …
5:17 We are already waiting … the live-stream is on … it was a beautiful day today outside, very very hot … inside the temperature is just a little lower – it is hot in here … and on stage there are brasilian temperatures the Singers told me … now we hope the jury will arrive soon and the finals start … so: stay tuned!
5:20 It starts! …for you just to remember: application from 27 countries were received – 11 candidates were selected, in the semifinals 2 times 5 Singers performed, yesterday the jury selected 3 out of these… Each finalist will present one own song, and 2 free choices. They will play in alphabetic order.
5:27 Sarah Lancman starts with Horace Silvers tune: “NICA’S DREAM” – a song with a latin groove. Actually the song is about a Baroness who loved Jazz and stayed in close contact to the Jazzmusicians starting in the raise of Bebop in the 40ies: Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarte. She was a big “sponsor” and “host” for the musicians – so Jazz is an art, and art needs sponsors, competitions and poeple who love it, put themselves in an organising position – so thanks to all of you: SHURE, MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, all you people helping us musicians to develop our art and artistry, MUSICLOVERS… Sarah sings it just beautifully- it is intense and without anything that doesn’t belong to the music. For her second song “THE BOY NEXT DOOR” she sits behind the piano and comps herself together with the two members of the band. She scats – and plays along at the piano. With such a nice phrasing, relaxed, some great back-phrasing, to the point, gentle – WOW! Oh my good – this is beautiful! and such an unexpected chord to end the song… it was her own composition. THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is an old swing – and Sarah can swing. She swings in a very nice, subtle way, changes the original rhyhthm … the drummer is constantly smiling – that tells it all. People in the room are clapping hard and cheering.
5:40 Marie Martin tells us: “DON’T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE” in a groovy Latin style and takes this song out of the Swing-Big Band-era into a more modern interpretation. She adds pop-phrasing, modern belt-sounds and crazy triplets against the straight 16nth notes played by the band. “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS” just started by Marie and Sebastian at the bass. She showes a very personal style of variations and embellishments, melismatic changes of the melody notes. She definitly tells the story, it sounds like she knows what she is singing about. Connecting to her spanish roots – she sings “SPAIN” by Chick Corea (1972) – inspired by the famous “Concierto de Aranjuez” composed by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939 in Paris. Marie scat-sings and it totally back in this Latin-style – no pop-phrasing anymore, just accurate 16th notes in unison with the band – and thats really difficult, believe me. A dag in the audience helped her finishing the song …she goes back to her personal style of embellishments to finish the song. The audience is enthusiastic.
5:59 Elena Mindru wants to tell a story to us: “old but still true” she says: “NATURE BOY”. Her scat-solo starts with sounds like coming from a trumpet playing in another room. The song is played in a funky way. Her natural way of being is also convincing. Horace Silver is her favourite Jazz-composer and we again listen to NICA’S DREAM. Elenas version starts with sounds made by consonants: ts t k ttt k ts sssss … in a rhythimcal way. Her impro goes to notes with pitch, nice choices, some glottal sounds that might be inspired by the music of her origin: Romania – very original, very personal, convincing. Now she sings her own song and the singing style changes more towards soul. Another way of improvising comes up – groovy and interesting. It’s a good interesting song… I didn’t get the title – I will ask her later. Also big applause for Elena from the audience.
Again: good luck to the jury, all three candidates are original, personal, have their own sweet way, a highly developed artistry – if I just may say my opinion, a total different approach toward Jazz-music, brilliant vocal technique, good harmonic knowledge for scat-singing, are good performers, interesting timing, they interact with the band – it’s fun to listen to all of them. Wow – I am not in the jury – I am writing the blog and enjoying the performance. And I’ll be on stage soon – and that’s the best. For you three girls: Sarah, Marie and Elena: you are WINNERS!
6:48 I am just back from the stage to my seat in the first row. Two songs: Stormy Monday – a blues and YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM with a Sunny Rollins Solo put into words . And now I am curious. The jury comes in…
6:51 Introduction by the jury: “All of the candidates were just wonderful. And: the level is really improving – it gets better and better – so real congratulations to the singers.” I totally agree … Quincy says: “All these girls are a party, it’s about living and lerning – especially in Jazz. the last 65 years I worked in that field … and each one has a totally different situation: Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and all of them… – so I am just proud to be here, you can be proud to be here.”
Public Price: goes to ELENA MINDRU!
3rd price: MARIE MARTIN
2nd price: ELENA MINDRU
1st price: SARAH LANCMAN
Well, Sarah stands there, packed witha head phone, vouchers of 2000 Euro product from SHURE, 5000 Euro and the chance of recording one week in the great BALIC studio in Switzerland. I did that and that’s just a fantastic thing. CONGRATULATIONS!
Final JULY 4th Final 5 :00pm – 7 :00pm (CET)
Order of appearance : alphabetical order
Performance : 15min maximum
This event will appear on our live video stream starting 5:00pm CET.