Years ago, I was a big listener to NPR’s World Cafe with David Dye. It was on in the evenings, and I really enjoyed listening to the variety of music that was played. There was a lot of world music, folk, singer-songwriter, indie rock, lots of cross-genre kind of programming. Eclectic programming is my jam. I fell out of the routine of listening to it as my teaching day grew longer. But I always think of it fondly.
I like a lot of different kinds of music. I sing a lot of different kinds of music. So when I was putting together the program for World Voice Weekend, I wanted clinicians and artists who reflected my interest in all kinds of music. So I decided to have a World Voice Brunch at 12:15pm each day, with the idea that you could sit back after the first session, grab a bite and enjoy a mini-concert and Q&A with performers that reflected the different kinds of music that the human voice is capable of. After all, the theme of World Voice Day is, “One World, Many Voices.”
I only have two days, so I only have room for two singers. On Saturday, our featured artist will be jazz singer, pianist, and educator Brenda Earle Stokes (for whom I keep accidentally typing “Brenda Stokes Mitchell” – clearly I am fantasizing about Brian Stokes Mitchell again). Brenda will give a 45 minute program, during which she will share a wide variety of vocal jazz styles from Swing to Bossa and Blues to Modern. This will be a fun and engaging program filmed live from her studio in the heart of Jazz Mecca: NYC. There will be a Q&A Session at the end of the concert where you can learn more about this work from an internationally-recognized jazz artist. A handout of a listening list and outline of what she will cover will be provided to all attendees. You can find out more about Brenda at her website, and hear more of her on her YouTube channel (to which you should subscribe). Her performance will be called “The World of Jazz Singing.”
Our Sunday performer is Emma Langford, about whom I’ve written before. Emma lives in Limerick, Ireland, and performs throughout Ireland, Germany, and made her U.S. debut at Milwaukee Irish Fest in 2019, which is where I met her. Her style has been referred to as “nu-folk.” Her voice is glorious. Her original song, “Goodbye, Hawaii” is an argument for why you should do semi-occluded vocal tract exercises (watch the video and find out what I mean). Emma has written about topics from losing her voice to finding her voice (in more ways than one), about relationships, about anxiety and mental health issues, and is a strong advocate for equity in gender, art, and representation. You can find out more about Emma at her website and check out her music on her YouTube channel (to which you should subscribe). Her concert will be called “Her voice was broken, so I sing aloud” (spoiler – that’s part of the chorus for one of her songs).
To attend these concerts, register for World Voice Weekend. You’ll get those concerts, plus a whole host of other offerings. Early bird pricing through 3/31/2021.