Vocalist/songwriter Heidi Vogel, together with musical director Ivo Neame, has prepared a very special evening of songs to celebrate Sarah Vaughan. It will premiere at Jazz Café POSK on Saturday 26 November 2022.
Vocalist with The Cinematic Orchestra since 2006, Vogel has opened for Erykah Badu in Dubai, performed at Montreux Jazz festival for Quincy Jones and appeared live on The Jimmy Kimmel Show on ABC, as well as performed at The Sydney Opera House and with The Heritage Orchestra and The London Metropolitan Orchestra. As a soloist, she performed at the 2019 BBC Proms in a much-acclaimed performance of The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington. With her on stage at Jazz Café POSK on Saturday 23 November will be Ivo Neame on piano, Larry Bartley on bass and Rod Youngs on drums. Interview/preview by Tomasz Furmanek (*):
LondonJazz News: We’re really looking forward to “Heidi Vogel sings Sarah Vaughan” at Jazz Café POSK; it promises to be a special evening.
Heidi Vogel: Firstly, I love Jazz Cafe POSK. We always get a wonderful audience there with such a great feeling for the music. As this is a tribute to Sarah Vaughan, it will be something elegant, yet also organic, and “rootsy” too.
LJN: Why is Sarah Vaughan so special to you?
HV: She is absolutely the best there ever was. I can’t really say more. It’s always a challenge and the material she chose coupled with her interpretations make for a cracker of a combination. Sarah Vaughan – she’s a heavenly entity.
LJN: Who else do you admire in the world of jazz?
HV: Betty Carter – an inspiration for the amount of freedom in the music she displayed. It really is a level of fluidity I strive towards every day, a standard that is very hard to follow in the steps of. It’s not easy at all. She keeps us all on our toes. Other jazz artists I love and admire are Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
LJN: Any further plans related to Sarah Vaughan songs? Will there be an album perhaps?
HV: I hope so… maybe this concert will lead to something special like that.
LJN: Ivo Neame is the artistic director for this special night at JCP. Why did you choose to collaborate with him on this project?
HV: Yes, he will be the musical director of the band. He writes arrangements, is a huge fan of Sarah Vaughan himself and he directs the band and our interpretations and pushes for something fresh yet true to the traditions. He is also one of the most exciting artists in the jazz world today and hearing him live on this material will be quite spellbinding.
LJN: What do you consider as the most important moments in your career so far?
HV: It must be performing live at The Royal Albert Hall. Three times, each time a milestone. The first two times with The Cinematic Orchestra. The first time was a live album. The third time performing for the Proms – Come Sunday with Monty Alexander for the Duke Ellington prom. It was a total honour of a lifetime.
LJN: You are best known as the soloist with The Cinematic Orchestra. What does your involvement in this band mean to you? Are there any further plans to collaborate?
HV: It means the world to me. We have been touring and recording for 15 years now. We continue to collaborate and our concerts and recordings are literally my life.
LJN: You‘ve visited Poland and performed there numerous times, any special memories?
HV: Playing with The Cinematic Orchestra and Sinfonietta Cracovia in Krakow in 2009 was really special. I have so many emotional memories, wonderful stories and life snapshots from Poland, ones that I’ll never ever forget. I find the people there to be so beautifully warm and kind, and spiritual.
LJN: Why should people make sure to come to the “Vogel sings Vaughan” concert?
HV: Sarah Vaughan is to me the most impacting artist in the jazz tradition and beyond. We will approach the interpretations of her recordings with a lot of reverence and creative input. I have hand-picked a band that I know can give the right amount of importance to every piece. I look forward to sharing that evening with you.
(*) Tomasz Furmanek is Artistic Manager at Jazz Café POSK