Oak Bay News
Oak Bay’s Tony James has had a life-long love of jazz music and the icons of eras past.
Back in 2008/09, the concert producer created The Legends Concert Series, 12 concerts that recreate an artist’s work through the interpretation and stylization of the songs.
This Sunday, James returns with Prelude to a Kiss: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald, featuring the talents of award-winning songstress Sibel Thrasher.
These are not simply “tribute” shows, James notes.
“Each show highlights the classics everyone would know but also some more obscure songs. This allows for a strong balance of storytelling throughout the concert.”
Other subjects in the series have included Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong, and starred such talented artists as Denzal Sinclaire, Dee Daniels and Diane Pancel.
“This is the first concert of Prelude to a Kiss to be performed in Victoria and I am delighted that such an iconic performing artist like Sibel is starring in it,” James says.
Local audiences have always been responsive to the shows, he notes.
“They appreciate the music and the talent that is presenting the music. Furthermore, they know that quality and production values are at the forefront of my presentations and that speaks volumes and brings them back each time I present here. I am humbled and grateful for that.”
Fitzgerald’s music continues to resonate with audiences, with her storytelling, the way she interprets the lyrics and holds the notes so fluidly, James says.
“It’s like silk. Ella makes you feel full inside. She evokes such a power of emotion that you can’t help but release whatever it is you’re feeling. She takes you away, sometimes to the most beautiful of places, and yet often to more somber places at the same time.”
In Thrasher audiences enjoy a B.C. Hall of Fame artist with a four-octave range who has worked with some of the greats.
“Sibel is perfect for this show because she has the life experience and the perfect blend of tone to convey the substance of the music in profound and deep way … She is an entertainer. Humorous, sweet, tender and honest in her delivery every time.”
Prelude To A Kiss: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald is at the Victoria Event Centre Aug. 23. Tickets are $37.75 to 47.75 and are available at the Royal & MacPherson Box Office, 250-386-6121 or www.rmts.bc.ca Ella