I’m a lucky so and so, Rebecca Parris is in town! She’s performing in one of the cutest theatres Amsterdam has to offer: En Pluche. I’m even more lucky, I can sit frontrow. Now let the games begin!
Ever heard of Rebecca Parris? She’s Boston’s first lady of jazz, played with many jazz greats, like Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis and recorded a series of beautiful albums.
What I like about Rebecca?
Rebecca Parris knows how to tell her tales. She expresses them in a glorious, humorous and engaged style. She’s a masterful storyteller who, with just a little wave of her hand, a subtle nod or a huge grin, makes the lyrics come to life. She told me that she “likes people to SEE the music too”. I just love that approach.
And I love her sense of humor. She connects with her audience in such a fun and free manner. I frequently turned around in my seat to see happy, beaming faces.
Rebecca is like a good wicked witch with whom you’d gladly sit on a broomstick and explore the wonders of life.
Now, what can YOU learn from La Parris? If I had to pick one thing, it would have to be the way she emphasizes her lines with that little wink, that smile, that shrug of her shoulder. Magic!
She, to me, is an award winning actress. I simply believe every word. That process of understanding lines so deeply, is comparable to what great actors do. They don’t just “bla bla bla”. They zoom in. And a bit further. And zoom out. They give meaning to their sentences. And express their inner world. “Tell it to your face”, is how Rebecca states that.
That’s something you could train yourself to do too. Look at your next song and first zoom into the lyrics. What the %^& is the song about? What’s the essential theme of the story? Who are you in this song? Are you happy, sad, angry, afraid? Why? Now sing your story with expression. Dare to show. Phrase a little later. Punctuate.
I’m sooo curious to know where this approach will take you!
You could also do a workshop acting. You know what – do more than one. I think I’ll join you!
Dutch jazz singer Ilse Huizinga is listed as one of the best jazz singers of all times. In Scott Yanow’s (Downbeat) “The Jazz Singers, the ultimate guide”. She has 8 albums and over 25 years of experience performing and coaching worldwide. Despite all this, she still does her own grocery shopping! On this site she also hosts her popular online jazz vocal courses.