Diana Krall to jazz up Seoul nightsDiana Krall, the Canadian singer and pianist who is currently jazz music’s top-selling vocalist, will perform in Seoul for the third time next Thursday.
Ms. Krall’s latest album, “The Girl in the Other Room,” which was released last year, went gold in the United States (meaning that it sold more than 500,000 copies), as well as in England, France and Portugal. An earlier album, “The Look of Love,” which was released in 2001, sold more than 4 million copies.
These numbers are more or less unheard of for contemporary jazz musicians. No doubt her blonde good looks have something to do with it, but musically, there’s little question that she’s the real deal.
Billboard Magazine, for one, described her as “a hardy vocalist with an alluring delivery that is at turns passionate, wistful, spunky and romantic-with-a-wink. But she’s also a superb pianist.”
“My favorite singers have all played piano,” she says on her Web site. “Dinah Washington, Roberta Flack, Shirley Horn, Andy Bey, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, and especially Carmen McRae. She has really been important to me and is one of my biggest influences. And Nat ‘King’ Cole was the ultimate.”
Ms. Krall won a Grammy award in 1999 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for her album “When I Look In Your Eyes,” which was also nominated for Album of the Year.
In Canada, she has several nominations in this year’s upcoming Juno Awards, in the Fan Choice Award, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year categories.
Born in British Columbia, near Vancouver, she started playing piano when she was four years old. She was exposed to jazz by the time she was 15, and began performing in local restaurants and bars before being awarded a scholarship to enter the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In 2003, she married the rock great Elvis Costello. The two of them co-wrote half the songs on her latest album. “I’ve never done anything so personal,” she told USA Today.
Ms. Krall is a favorite of some other well-known musicians, such as Elton John and Sting, both of whom were recent visitors to Korea as well. (Elton John, incidentally, hosted the Krall-Costello wedding at his mansion in Surrey, England.) She performed in honor of Sting at the 2004 MusiCare Person of the Year gala alongside singers Tony Bennett, k.d. Lang and Black Eyed Peas. Last year, she opened the 25th annual Montreal Jazz Festival with a performance later released as a DVD.
Though jazz seems to be her first love, she’s embraced pop songs too; she’s recorded Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and Joni Mitchell’s “A Taste of You,” among others.
Next Thursday, she is expected to sing familiar hits like “The Look Of Love,” “S’Wonderful” and “Cry Me A River.”
by Limb Jae-un
The concert starts at 8 p.m. at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Convention Center. Ticket prices range from 50,000 won ($50) to 150,000 won. For tickets, call 1588-7890.