The Zeider's American Dream Theater hosted the first annual Vocal Jazz Summit. Under the direction of Alexis Cole the summit is "an annual conference designed to bring together vocal jazz enthusiasts, emerging and established artists, industry leaders, and the greater vocal jazz community to connect and engage one another in celebration of the art form, present unique educational experiences, and provide an environment to nurture and grow the vocal jazz community. The weekend will engage festival-goers with live performance, interactive workshops and masterclasses, and networking opportunities." Because live audiences are still be impacted by Covid the summit was both live and virtual. Broadcast from locations across the country vocal jazz enthusiasts were able to participate in the two day event without leaving home. To learn more about the summit go to https://thez.org/vocaljazzsummit/ (next year's has already been planned).
Luckily for the locals here in the Virginia Beach area Zeider's hosted Rene Marie for a one hour set of standards, self-penned numbers, and enjoyable conversation between songs. Backed by pianist Xavier Davis and her long time bassist Elias Bailey, Rene Marie delivered as only she can. Sometimes coy, shy, heartbroken or happy, like a great actress she pulled her listeners in with her emotional inflective readings. She roamed the stage, talking to Davis and Bailey or facing her virtual and live audience to converse with them and tell a story about the next song. When she sang the audience knew that song was hers, no matter who had sung it before now she owned it. Rene Marie made the stage seem so intimate the 15 people in attendance in the 300 seat room felt like they were sitting in their livingroom listening to a private concert. If it was not for the new rules for venues (the room could not be used for more than 90 minutes) the audience would gladly still be there.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.