I had the pleasure of attending the London Jazz Festival in Canary Wharf yesterday and
loved every moment of it!
Just listening to the live musicians perform to thousands of people in an open air concert was such a chilled and perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. People from all walks of life came along to celebrate and unite in their enjoyment of the soulful and melodic tones of jazz music and its culture.
One of the main highlights was Ian Shaw, an internationally renowned jazz singer, talented pianist and twice winner of BBC Jazz Awards (pictured above). As a down to earth British artist, Ian is a true entertainer. I was blown away by his soulfulness, grounded mannerisms when gearing up the audience to participate, and the richness of his powerhouse voice, which he appeared to be so humble about.
Another artist who was simply fantastic (pictured right), was Zantony Black, a backing instrumentalist who clearly loved what he was doing, because he was beaming with joy and enthusiasm the whole time. When leading pianist Jason Rebello, informed the crowd that Zantony would be stepping forward from the backing instruments to sing for us, who knew he'd be so good? Not only did he sing with such deep and enchanting harmonic passion, he made an effort to engage with the audience, moved around the stage and jammed with the other musicians. It was a shame we couldn't see more of him.
All in all a great day out and incredibly inspiring, as it got me thinking about my own stance on performing and how I need to develop as a dancer. Yesterday I could clearly see that these jazz artists were comfortable in their own skin, so their inner confidence and joy was evident by the quality of their performances. With references and tributes made by these musicians to Joni Mitchell and other artists, their enthusiasm and deep reverence for all things jazz-like and musical shined through. This has motivated me to really think about and get a feel of all aspects of the instruments and lyrics used in the music I dance to, so I can hopefully translate this with dance performances that uplift and stimulate audiences whenever I perform, just like the artists did to me yesterday.