2016 Semi-Final SHURE Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

5:00 The jury is presented to the audience – of course Ladies first: the head of the jury is Angelique Kidjo and the other 5 jury members:

The musicians enter the stage and the first singer starts.

Three fine musicians support the singers: Jerry Léonide (Mauritius/France) on piano – he won the piano Solo competition in 2013, from Paris the incredible Zacharie Abraham on Bass and the fine tasteful drumming comes from Fred Bintner (Paris) living in Switzerland.

5:10 Camille Barbillon

starts singing the famous song FOUR composed by Miles Davis. Her scat singing is lively, somehow “french” – charming like “Amélie“, definitely inspired by trumpet and with nice unexpected rhythmical accents. Her second song: SOLEIL D’HIVER gives the piano player Jerry Léonide the chance to show us the beauty of jazz harmony in his comping. Beautiful fresh singing, Camille loves this music and thats what she shares with us. Big applause for Camille Barbillon!

5:20 Adelheid Erler

BEBOP LIVES is Adelheids first song – and with her fascinating high clear Jazz voice she celebrates the jazz language Bebop. In the theme she adds some pop embellishments, the drummer Fred Bintner catches every kick of her and brings a gentle end to this kicking song. THE MIDNIGHT SUN is a beautiful jazz ballad – in her version reharmonized in a way that Jazz lovers melt away – especially when it is played the way Jerry on Piano does. Adelheid adds some chromaticism and some pop embellishments. Now the song starts swinging and she scat sings joyful using her voice as an instrument. Coming back to the theme of the song and the beautiful ballad ends. There are defiantly some Austrian friends in the audience cheering up for Adelheid Erler.

5:30 Indre Gasiune

NICAS DREAM is Indres choice out of the mentioned pieces to be sung. She introduces this Horace Silver song with the Brazilian flavor and lightness. Her own choice GOODBYE PORK PIE HAT by Charlie Mingus with lyrics from Jony Mitchel is an all time jazz musicians favorite – talking about racial discrimination in “those days” but also of this big dream of Black and White together. The whole song including the vocalese on a solo of the alto saxophonist John Handy from 1959 got lyrics by Joni Mitchel. Not just the Mingus song is a dedication to Lester Young, Jony also invented a club named “Pork Pie Hat Bar” – an homage to the the incredible Lester Young always wearing this kind of hat. From Vilnius, Lithuania via Paris where Indre lives now – she transports real jazz feel to this Montreux Jazz Competition.

5:40 Fabio Giacalone

STOLEN MOMENTS is Fabios starter. He has a beautiful free sounding voice with well developed low and high register, falsetto, nothing forced. He takes a scat solo, starts it off with short phrases but quickly introducing tension notes. And he goes outside – plays little jazz musicians games – thats great! In a very nice way he leads the band to follow him either to be active and loud or sensitive and quiet. It is very nice to listen to and see him guide “his” musicians. He interprets NICAS DREAM and now adds a quick samba scat – yes, he knows what “phrasing” and “timiming” means in this music inspired from the Southern American culture. A very fine sensitive drum solo from Fred Bintner supports his style of interpretation. If you can talk about SWING in Brazilian Music – Fabio has it! GOOD LUCK; FABIO!

5:50 Arta Jekabsone

“Tonight I will tell you the meaning of love – YOU’RE EV’RYTHING”! This is how Arta introduces the song to the surprised and smiling audience. The song starts with an introduction played by Zacharie Abraham on Bass setting the Brazilian feel. The two of them play the first A-part of the song. This is may be the most difficult song from the repertory the candidates choose from. Arta is just 21 years old, very natural on stage, tells her story within the song she sings and she also scats like telling a story. The second song sounds brand new. Her voice is influenced from todays music, she uses “Millennium embellishments”, distortions of the voice, just a little dash of Belting, very tasteful and beautiful. She is fully aware of all harmonic changes, prepares them in an active way – so without it being too obvious or – she is a musician.

6:30 Esra Kayikci

Ezra introduces the song: “NICAS DREAM – its about Peace and Love, this is what the world needs, also especially my home country Turkey.” A very interesting book about the Jazz Baroness written by a family member Hannah Rothschild tells the interesting story of this unusual woman who flew airplanes in the 40ies and escaped the live of a rich housewife to become a big supporter of the New York Jazz Scene. An Anatolian Poet inspired her second song. The drummer gives a heart beat of this song, the tradition of Turkish singing with quarter tones and beautiful melodic lines is alive in Montreux through Esra. The arrangement gets a nice jazz touch with an added quick line played in unison. She is one with the music and the audience likes a lot what Esra is doing.

6:40 Erik Leuthäuser

LITTLE WILLY LEAPS is a old Bebop Song – Erik gave it some German lyrics. Now its a song about a little boy who jumps. Jumps high and sings Jazz. He scats Jazz. WOW! The first time the audience is really excited. SOFTLY AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE he starts of singing phrases into his loop station. It adds up to a song. In a very tasteful way he uses this modern instrument, fades voices in and out as he sings. There is nothing artificial – it’s all organic and beautiful. We see a nice and humble human being on stage – totally dedicated to Jazz music – in a very hip way. After the first A sections – with different spheric backgrounds he sang before into the machine – it fades into the B-part as “normal” Vocal Jazz with a coming Trio. And he does this very well as well.  Unexpected and very gently they change tempo into a more heavier swing. Now we hear nice, adventurous scat singing, beautiful and honest, it’s bebop tradition at it’s best. After Solos the theme comes again in this quicker tempo and goes out of time after the B-Part. Without a second of doubt his loop machine enters back to bring us back to the first mood he had set for this song. This is such a little master piece of how one can mix loop station with real good jazz singing making it more interesting. Congratulations, Erik! Obviously the audience loves you – good luck!

6:50 Anna Lukshina

She put ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE in a new dress: Some chords are changed and she leads the band through the song – of course the musicians follow at ease. Some surprises put into this very old song makes the audience listen with new ears. She swings the song to the end. FASCINATING RHYTHM by George Gershwin: another arrangement of hers: She starts it out a cappella before the bass gives the root for the Verse of the song. She also really performs the song with the flavor of Musical Theatre. There is an pushing moment of a famous rock bass line she also put in the song. That makes us smile and enjoy her performance.

7:00 Soyoung Park

DON’T GO AROUND MUCH ANYMORE starts off with floating harmonies – definitely not the traditional version. She plays a chromatic game to enter the second A part. Interesting kicks for the band makes this an outstanding arrangement – fun to listen to. FOR ALL WE KNOW is a very sad song in my eyes and Soyoung interprets it in a very soft way, honest and humble – almost “naked” dedicated to the Jazz language. Her voice is clear and she shows good taste. Soyoungleaves the stage with the shyness of a girl from South Korea – what an interesting mixture!

7:00 Cristina Tanase

DON’T GO AROUND MUCH ANYMORE starts with a good powerful voice and a good feeling of powerful swing. That grabs the immediate attention of the audience. The musicians follow her drive and this song is alive! Her second song is taken from the Romanian tradition. The lyrics are written by Maria Tanase. Again we get the flavor of a totally different tradition of music mixed with Jazz. That’s what I really like about the European approach of young musicians. We mix our homeland tradition with the American Jazz culture and something new happens. Something much more connected to Europe than “just” singing The Great American Songbook and it looks like this is a success as well. Her interesting use of the voice with flips and quarter tones give a special taste to this song. The band supports with all the history of jazz. Go for it, Cristina! Big applause.

JURY DECISION: Angelique Kidjo

ALL OF THEM WERE REALLY GOOD!  only three can go to the finals and you give us a headache to choose – but these three are going to the Finals:

Fabio Giacalone, Arta Jekabsone and Erik Leuthäuser

And evrytime you gonna touch a song – make it yours!

 

 

Welcome to the Competition 2016

Schedule: Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2016

It’s only a few days until the 14th Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition starts.

Time to take a closer look at the schedule. Continue reading

Welcome to the 2016 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

We are delighted every year to be heavily involved with the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, which takes place every July during the famous Jazz festival. Established in 2003, the competition seeks to encourage up-and-coming vocal talents from all around the world, irrespective of background, and Shure has been the headline sponsor from the beginning. In addition to the international recognition that comes with winning, the three lucky finalists get to share Shure prizes worth a total of 10 thousand Euros! Continue reading

Flashback on the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

Continue reading

Interview with Quincy Jones

Sabine Kühlich talks to Quincy Jones, head of the jury, about the competion.

July 4th 2012 – Finals SHURE Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

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!

 

 

Live Video Stream Semi Final JULY 3rd

Semi final JULY 3rd 5 :00pm – 6 :30pm (CET)

Order of appearance : alphabetical order
Performance : 10min maximum

  • 5 :00 – 5 :10 Presentation
  • 5 :10 – 5 :20 MARTIN Marie, (France) (Birth date : 1979)
  • 5 :20 – 5 :30 MINDRU Elena, (Romania) (Birth date : 1988)
  • 5 :30 – 5 :40 PILATOVIC Viktorija, (Lithuania) (Birth date : 1989)
  • 5 :40 – 5 :50 REGIDOR Luis, (Spain) (Birth date : 1985)
  • 5 :50 – 6 :00 SCANDALIOS Jenna, (USA) (Birth date : 1995)
  • 6 :00 – 6 :30 End first day Announce of the finalists End of the Semifinals


This event will appear on our live video stream starting 5:00pm CET.


Interviewing the band

A look back: Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2009