Jazz interview with jazz singer Sylvia Brooks.
Sylvia Brooks: – I grew up in Miami in a musical household- My dad was a first call Jazz pianist and arranger, and my mom was an Opera Singer.
SB: – Originally, I wanted to be a classical actress- so I went to a Classical Theatre School. But, when my dad died, and I was looking through his music, something awoke in me, and I decided to start working on some of the music that I grew up listening to as a child.
SB: – I started working in Los Angeles with a wonderful pianist named Tom Garvin and he helped me begin to understand this music. He’s passed away since, but he was really my mentor and my friend. He said something to me that really helped me understand artistry. He said, don’t try to decide who you want to be, just let it reveal itself to you. He also told me to not listen to other vocalists on a song that I was working on, because it would influence my delivery. He said; find it yourself, in your own voice.
SB: – I learned to trust the story of the song, and to use my voice more selectively- to use the colors of my voice in different ways to tell different parts of the story. Being in the recording studio was a huge help- there is nowhere to hide there. Also, to work with less vibrato and incorporate more straight tone- I’ve studied voice for years, so it really becomes a matter of what you decide to do when-
SB: – I work a lot on my upper register to keep the range in my voice- also; I have worked a lot on learning to swing. A friend of mine, Cathy Segal Garcia said something interesting to me, she said, everyone swings differently- everyone feels it differently- that really opened things up for me.
SB: – I like the use of melodic counterpoint- which is why I wanted to use horns and reeds on The Arrangement. I consider myself more of a Classic Jazz artist- so, to me, it’s more about harmonies and how they are used to create the structure and mood of the composition.
SB: – I’m very proud of the Arrangement. I wanted to make a record that was musically rich, and somewhat unpredictable. Christian Jacob, Otmaro Ruiz, Jeff Colella, Kim Richmond and Quinn Johnson all have very different musical styles- and so we ended up with an album full of diversity. And yet, it’s very cohesive at the same time. I also included three original compositions- so my next album will have more original material on it- and I’m thinking about making it a little grittier through a different combination of instruments, which I will hold close to the vest until it comes out!
SB: – There is no doubt about it that this is a very difficult business…and that is a very important part of it, it is a business, and a lot of people lose sight of that. In talking to students, I would say stay true to yourself, learn your craft, (really important!) and have the courage of your convictions. For peers, we are all in very different places. I try to support the people that I believe in.
SB: – Absolutely! I personally think that we are in a very exciting time. But I do believe that we all need to open our minds, and allow more voices in- perhaps they don’t always fit the preconceived notions of what Jazz is, but perhaps, the new voices can breathe some new life into the art form and in doing so, make it more accessible to younger people.
SB: – Just what I said above! You read my mind!
SB: – Oh boy, that’s a big question! I have a very zen belief- I believe that we are all on this journey for a reason, that we were put here to do something- and sometimes you can’t always understand why it doesn’t always go the way you think it should- but that’s the beauty of it- it goes exactly as it’s meant to go. It’s important to stay true to your voice- and contribute as much value as possible while you are on this earth- and it will go the way it goes.
SB: – I’m really not sure- life to me is like an onion, you just keep peeling back the layers. I just hope that when something presents itself to me, that I am smart enough and wise enough to see it. I suppose that is my greatest fear- not being tuned in-.
SB: – Writing more songs – writing deeper stories-
SB: – All good music is similar, because it’s so primal. If it makes the listener feel something, then it’s doing its job.
SB: – I just listened to Cheryl Bentynes’ new album ReArranging Shadows- where she deconstructs the music of Stephen Sondheim- really remarkable piece of work.
Interview by : Simon Sargsyan
There is something magical about jazz. It is one of the few forms of music that can transport a person to a different world while also pulling at their heartstrings and developing incredible emotions with every note. When it comes to this type of music, Sylvia Brooks, classic jazz singers like her, and others, can fall in love with this form of music. Jazz is the type of music that changes the lives of those who truly explore it. In its classical form, it can be soul-searching.
What Sylvia Brooks Has to Offer
As you get to know Sylvia Brooks, classic jazz singers of yesteryear come to life. There is no doubt that there are a wide range of new opportunities to explore jazz today with new variations of this music occurring. However, for those who are just exploring this genre, it helps to take the time to get to know true classic jazz singers. Sylvia Brooks provides an avenue to doing just that. Many of her early music, including her breakout album called Dangerous Liaisons in 2009 and her second album, Restless, produced in 2012, focus on this classic form of jazz. And it is clear that this is a form of jazz that is quite like that of some of the largest classic jazz stars of all time.
For those who are ready to explore Sylvia Brooks, classic jazz singers like her, or just this classic form of music, now is the perfect time to do so.
When it comes to loving Sylvia Brooks, classic jazz singers like this are a once in a lifetime experience. Get to know her and the soulful sounds she has produced. Take the time to explore her latest albums or learn more about her up and coming shows.
Now is the best time to explore a new jazz artist. For those who are looking for a sensational, beautiful, and soul-searching sound, Sylvia Brooks has something to offer. She is a rather newer artist to come on the scene, though she has been performing in the Los Angeles area for some time. Many of her first shows, the shows that helped her develop into a sensation, were formed in cabarets throughout the area. She has something magical to provide those who are looking for Sylvia Brooks, female vocalists.
Getting to Know Sylvia Brooks, Female Vocalists
Female vocalists today have a great deal of challenges to overcome. While jazz performers were often just men, this has changed considerably. Yet, the sounds and soul-searching experiences that these vocalists are meant to create have changed a great deal over the last decades. Today, she is providing a vastly different form of jazz than before, but, like those who came before here, she is paving the road to a new form of jazz and plenty of inspiration.
For those who are coming into jazz for the first time and experiencing Sylvia Brooks female vocalists and others, it is essential to experience each of her three albums as a unique experience on their own. From there, it is possible to walk her journey from the deep, soulful music she used to create the more uplifting sounds of her latest albums and all it can offer.
Exploring the sounds and inspiration that comes from jazz is quite the exciting opportunity. There is no one better to do this with than Sylvia Brooks, an up and coming artist. For those who are ready to buy her albums or attend her shows, it all can be done by contacting us directly.
Sylvia’s vocals are strong and project into the audience. She’s a showgirl with a catchy style. Both vocal and instrumental arrangements are fresh giving these classics rejuvenation. We enjoyed “Body and Soul”, “What Was I Thinking” and “Besame Mucho” just a few in a wonderful set. We found ourselves wanting to repeat the set over and over!
The queen of jazz noir changes her look and sound a bit but the cover shot still smacks of a femme fatale slinking down a hotel hallway.
Corralling the crème of LA’s jazzbo community to assist at all levels of the game, she writes a little more, digs some different sounds, but never loses sight of her laser focus as being a top jazz singer that understands her lyrics and knows how to make them new. Chops like this are practically one of a kind and are not to be missed. The reigning queen reigns on.
The rich and chesty voice of Sylvia Brooks is clear and alluring on her delivery of jazz and pop standards. She’s got a rich and seductive vibrato, well delivered on the late night “Angel Eyes” while sounding like a sincere story teller on “Eleanor Rigby.” She knows how to veer through a hip rhythm team, as she sears through the hip horns on “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” and struts through a shuffling “Cold Cold Heart” while keeping upbeat on a perky “Midnight Sun.” She can get deep and attractive on the misty “Besame Mucho” while vulnerable yet accusing on “Guess Who I Saw Today.” She’s able to let her voice tell a story, using the lyrics as guideposts.