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Interview with JOCELYN BARTH: sincere, warm and unique Singer

“There aren’t many singers that blow you away halfway through the first verse of a song. Jocelyn is THAT singer.” — Jaymz Bee, JAZZ.FM91. More about wonderful Canadian jazz singer JOCELYN BARTH from Toronto, - in our interview, conducted on 2017 06 18. I just would like to add: Jocelyn is one of the most sincere and wonderful singers i've ever heard.

Mindaugas Peleckis
2017 m. Liepos 06 d., 14:03
Skaityta: 185 k.
Interview with JOCELYN BARTH: sincere, warm and unique Singer

Jocelyn Barth is one of Canada’s most exciting emerging vocalists. Her pure tone, formidable range and technique and innate musicality have put her in increasing demand in a variety of settings as both a featured artist and a session musician.

Jocelyn recorded on Canadian music icon Jane Siberry’s albums "Ulysses’ Purse" and "Angels Bend Closer" and performed with Siberry at the launch of "Ulysses’ Purse" in Toronto in 2016. She has worked with experimental vocalist and conductor Christine Duncan on multiple projects, including the soundtrack for the award-winning feature film "The Witch". Additionally, with Duncan’s improvising mass choir The Element Choir, she performed with Inuk throatsinging dynamo Tanya Tagaq at Massey Hall, Nathan Phillips Square and The Great Hall and recorded on Tagaq’s latest album, "Retribution".

Jocelyn has performed at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the Guelph Jazz Festival and the SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival. She sang at the inaugural Kensington Market Jazz Festival with George Koller‘s free improvisation ensemble Victory for Freestyle with David Restivo (piano) and Bruce Cassidy (Electronic Valve Instrument). In January 2016, she was a featured vocalist performing the works of Paul Simon in Jazz FM 91’s Songwriter’s Series. Jocelyn sang with New Lineage, a collective of eight improvising vocalists which held a weekly residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario for June 2016. She currently performs with jazz 12tet Emergency Musical Services singing original music by EMS co-leaders Marie Goudy and Liam Gallagher.

Jocelyn is featured with an original song on the forthcoming album by Collective Order, a group of 19 up-and-coming Toronto jazz musicians, which will be released in October 2017.

Photo courtesy of Bill Beard and JAZZ.FM91

Tell us more about Yourself.

Both of my parents are musicians. My dad is a multi-instrumentals who plays mostly country and R&B music. My mum is a singer who plays roots music and jazz. Growing up I would sing with my mum daily, improvising, matching her phrasing, and harmonizing with her melodies and improvisations. That two-decades-long experience is probably my biggest musical influence. I would also constantly improvise along to recorded music, singing lines and fills like a guitar or other non-vocal instrument would play. I listened mostly to the music my parents listened to which included jazz, popular music and world music—not so much whatever was current.

I was also really into acting from age 10 to 18 years. But when I finished high school I chose to pursue music and went to Humber College for their jazz performance diploma program. There, I met and worked with some people who impacted me profoundly, including my former teachers vocalist Christine Duncan, saxophonist Don Palmer and pianist David Restivo, and fellow student guitarist Luke Roberts. Don Palmer taught me the jazz improvisation ways of his teachers saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Lennie Tristano. Christine Duncan helped me to find my authentic voice (in only 12 minutes!) and often hires me to sing in wonderful and unusual (sometimes experimental) music projects. Luke Roberts introduced me to metal and other heavy music and has hired me to sing his music on numerous occasions. Dave Restivo encouraged me to do jazz gigs after I graduated (I was very shy) and plays in my jazz trio which also includes bassist George Koller.

Photo by George Gardiner

What inspires you? Writers, musicians, films...

Music inspires me. Especially music that is  unique and emotionally stimulating.

What do you know about Lithuanian music scene?

Not much. I know a little bit about Sutartinės thanks to my ethnomusicologist friend Andrea Kuzmich.

Photo by Chad Kirvan

Why Jazz? Why Blues? Why not "popular styles" as stoner rock or whatever?

I have loved jazz since I was a kid. I heard my mum sing jazz standards, and her music collection included some vocal jazz that influenced me profoundly: a Betty Carter tape called “Social Call” which consisted of two of her early recording sessions, Frank Sinatra’s album “The Nearness of You” on tape, and “The Mercury Records Songbook: 100 Jazz Vocal Classics” on CD. I don’t know what else to say about it other than that I have loved it for as long as I can remember.

Why did You choose Your style? It is so perfect so i have to ask.

I wouldn’t say that I chose my style, per se. It’s a combination of my early music influences, especially singing (harmonizing and improvising) with my mum and hearing her music collection, and my commitment to authenticity which was greatly aided by my teachers Christine Duncan and Don Palmer. And my natural tendency to improvise (musically/vocally).

J. Barth's Facebook page photo

Your latest album. What is its concept?

The latest album that I worked on is a collection of 12 original songs by 19-person Toronto jazz project Collective Order. I’m featured as a lead vocalists on two songs on that album, one of which is my own composition and one is a piece by pianist Ewen Farncombe for which I wrote lyrics. It’s scheduled to be released in October 2017.

Do You plan to come to Lithuania?

It could happen.

Thank You. It would be great to hear You singing in Lithuania.

Photo courtesy of Bill Beard and JAZZ.FM91

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