7:30 p.m. Friday 1 December
Laura Zakian is a true jazz vocalist. She employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.
After completing her degree at Middlesex University and studying in New York with Nancy Marano from the Manhattan School of Music, Laura launched her career in Italy, performing with leading jazz musicians in Rome and appearing at the Umbria Jazz Festival.
She started her recording career in 2000 with the release of ‘Nobody Else But Me’. JAZZ REVIEW said, “Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity” and The Observer newspaper made the album CD of the Week.
In 2004 she released ‘Just One of Those Things’ which received airplay on Michael Parkinson’s Radio Two show and caused JAZZ WISE to comment “Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control.”
From re-working neglected standards to jazz interpretations of contemporary tunes, her highly accessible set boasts an eclectic and ingenious repertoire. The consummate live performer <link to gigs page>, JAZZ JOURNAL commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”.
‘About Love’ is her third album released on 33 Jazz Records. Probably her finest and most assured work to date. This time Laura is joined by her husband Paul Bartholomew, acclaimed baritone saxophonist and arranger (Mbawula, Jools Holland Big Band, Sting, Kylie etc).
Her new project is Songs for Modern Lovers, an eclectic mix of songs she’s loved through her life.
Paul Bartholomew has worked with a huge variety of musicians in many different styles and describes his musical interests as “too wide for his own safety” (from Beethoven and John Cage to Charlie Mingus). As a studio and concert arranger/ MD he has worked with the RPO, Terry Riley, Pulp, numerous choirs and big bands. He toured for ten years with Jools Holland as Baritone Sax player and arranger, performing with artists including Sting, BB King, Barry White, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Kylie Minogue, Lemmy (of Motorhead fame) and Chaka Khan.He has composed for film, TV and contemporary dance, has performed on and worked as an arranger for all the Major TV channels and currently runs Mbawula , a multi-cultural ensemble celebrating the fusion of South African and European Big Band Jazz.