All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Interviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Georgia Mancio: ReVoice!

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
When the road offers two possible paths, the decision to turn left or right can have major consequences. If Georgia Mancio had taken the left-hand path, then she might now be carving out a career in movie production. She took the other route, thanks to a part-time job and a box set of albums, to become one of the UK's most innovative singers and lyricists. The cinema's loss was the music world's gain.

Fast-forward to 2010 and another pathway opens up: a route that leads to the creation of an exciting new music festival in the heart of London's jazz scene. Mancio becomes, almost inadvertently, the director of a festival devoted to the singer's art—ReVoice! is born. Three years later and Mancio is combining her careers as a singer and a festival organizer with admirable skill and enthusiasm.

Becoming A Singer

Mancio has worked extensively as a performer, with Bobby McFerrin and Darius Brubeck among others. Surprisingly, her discography remains small, with just three albums on the list—Peaceful Place (2003), Trapeze (2007) and Silhouette (2010), all released on her own Roomspin Records label. Her debut mixed standards with some Brazilian and Italian tunes. Trapeze was even more eclectic, with contemporary pop added to the mix, and the majority of the songs on Silhouette were originals, often co-written by Mancio and her bandmates. Each album has drawn praise from the critics and demonstrated Mancio's development as an artist and, later, as a songwriter.

Although Mancio comes from a family with a musical tradition, and she developed her own love of music at an early age, her own career as a professional singer started relatively late in her life. "My paternal grandparents were both professional classical musicians, but they lived in Italy, and by the time I knew them they'd stopped performing. My great-grandmother was from Uruguay. She was a pianist, too, but my dad didn't follow that path; the line got broken. I played classical flute when I was young, but I didn't take it too far. I didn't set out to be a singer: I didn't have a clue how to go about it, didn't know about the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, didn't know any musicians. I spent more time acting and ended up studying filmmaking."

It was the need to support herself financially during her film studies that led Mancio towards the center of the London jazz scene. "I worked part-time as a waitress at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club to support myself during my film studies. I took the job because I wanted something that wasn't going to be stressful or interfere with studying and because I loved jazz. That opened up a whole world to me; it demystified music not just because I saw so many great names but also because I got to know local musicians. I learned that while music is a passion, it's also a job.

"I was lucky. A couple of musicians were really kind and gave me advice about gigs, helped me put a demo together. Ironically, at the time, it was much harder to get started in the film industry than it was in music. I could go out and get my own gigs, find work as a singer. After a while, it became obvious that to succeed in either field you have to dedicate yourself totally, so I decided to concentrate on music—although I carried on working at Ronnie's, for about five years altogether.

"I left Ronnie's at the end of 1999 and turned professional. I took lessons, went on courses, but mostly I learnt on stage, in public. In the 12 years since then, I've carried on learning as I go. I do a bit of one-to- one teaching, but I earn my living as a performing singer, through gigs. As I've worked with more people, been exposed to more influences, I've moved on. That collaboration with others is still my main education. It brings out so much more than you can achieve on your own."

Early Influences

Mancio's love of jazz began when her father decided to expand his own musical horizons, introducing Frank Sinatra into the family home. " Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely (Capitol, 1958) was an early influence. My dad used to love classical music, so when I was young that's pretty much all we listened to at home. Then he decided to try a different direction and bought a jazz box set and the Sinatra album. I was about 8 or 10 years old, and Sinatra really struck a chord with me. The box set had some really great singers on it, too: Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Jon Hendricks and Irene Krall. I came back to all of them as an adult."

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

Georgia Mancio
Trapeze

CD/LP/Track Review
JazzLife UK
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Songbook

Songbook

Roomspin Records
2017

buy
Live At ReVoice!

Live At ReVoice!

Roomspin Records
2015

buy
Come Rain Or Come Shine

Come Rain Or Come...

Roomspin Records
2014

buy
Silhouette

Silhouette

Roomspin Records
2010

buy
Trapeze

Trapeze

Roomspin Records
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Randy Weston: The Spirit of Our Ancestors Interviews
Randy Weston: The Spirit of Our Ancestors
by Ludovico Granvassu
Published: September 7, 2018
Read Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony Interviews
Val Wilmer: Dues And Testimony
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 5, 2018
Read Bob James: Piano Player Interviews
Bob James: Piano Player
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: September 3, 2018
Read Ben Wolfe: The Freedom to Create Interviews
Ben Wolfe: The Freedom to Create
by Stephen A. Smith
Published: September 1, 2018
Read Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision Interviews
Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision
by Stephen A. Smith
Published: September 1, 2018
Read Dan Shout: In With a Shout Interviews
Dan Shout: In With a Shout
by Seton Hawkins
Published: August 31, 2018
Read "Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be" Interviews Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be
by Seton Hawkins
Published: June 11, 2018
Read "Pat Metheny: Driving Forces" Interviews Pat Metheny: Driving Forces
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Aaron Goldberg: Exploring the Now" Interviews Aaron Goldberg: Exploring the Now
by Luke Seabright
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota" Interviews Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota
by Ludovico Granvassu
Published: July 26, 2018