Jazz crooner stops in Seoul for showsMichelle Nicolle, one of Australia’s finest jazz singers, is in Seoul as she makes her way through Asia.
She performed at Once in a Blue Moon, in Cheongdam-dong, yesterday and will have another show tonight at 10, and again at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi province, on Saturday. She’s touring with quartet members Geoff Hughes on guitar, Ronny Ferella on drums and Howard Cairns on double bass.
The concert in Cheongdam-dong will be an intimate one, in the type of dark and cozy setting that should complement her voice. The winner of the Australian Mo Awards’ Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 2001, 2003 and 2004, Ms. Nicolle has been compared to Betty Carter, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald for her phrasing, interpretation and improvisation.
She has recently released her fourth album, “The Crying Game.” This album features her long-standing accompanists, along with special guests, performing songs from movies such as “The Breakfast Club” and “Trainspotting.”
Ms. Nicolle, 35, grew up in the wine region of Barossa Valley, South Australia. Her father polished the dance floor at the Angaston Town Hall, while she played on the grand piano.
In 1985, she entered Adelaide University for music education, focusing on the violin. But it wasn’t until she began singing with the university jazz choir, Adelaide Connection, that she developed an interest in jazz. The music of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker moved her to change her major to jazz voice. She moved to Melbourne in 1995 and sang at jazz clubs and festivals.
It was in 1998 that she started to gain international attention. She released a debut CD, “Misterioso” and performed at the Wangaratta International Jazz Festival. There, she won the prestigious National Jazz Award by a jury that included bebop singer Sheila Jordon and Blue Note star Kurt Elling.
In 2000, her quartet was nominated for Australian Music Foundation’s Best Live Jazz Act. The next year, she released her second album, “After the Rain,” and was named a finalist for the Aria Awards Best Jazz Album. Her third album, “Keep Your Heart Right,” released in 2002, is a live concert recording and was one of three finalists for the Bell Awards Jazz Vocal Album of the Year.
by Joe Yong-hee
For directions to the jazz club, go online to www.onceinabluemoon.co.kr. For information on the Jarasum Jazz Festival, visit the Web site www.jarasumjazz.com (some English available).