[Dixielandjazz] Nikki Yanofsky interviewed

Gluetje1 at aol.com Gluetje1 at aol.com
Sat Jun 25 19:30:13 PDT 2011

Thanks, Bob.  The below post sent me to YouTube searching on Nikki  
Yanofsky and, Oh, My Goodness, Wow, and Sing, It, Gal!
In a message dated 6/25/2011 1:17:47 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
rsr at ringwald.com writes:

Young  Yanofsky Already a Jazz Veteran
Montrealer is living the dream and  performing internationally at 17
by Irwin Block
Montreal Gazette, June  22, 2011
The prodigious speaker from Hampstead was 13 at the time,  preparing for a 
run of shows at the Montreal International Jazz  Festival.
Those who saw her then, or the previous year when she dazzled on  an 
outdoor stage
with her note-and inflection-perfect channelling of Ella  Fitzgerald -- 
scat and all
-- were witnesses to the takeoff of what is now  an international career.
Flash forward to midspring. We are doing an  interview with the singer on 
the phone
from the same Hampstead home, and  Nikki Yanofsky, 17, is getting set for 
some milestone
She is  studying for final exams; gearing up for the prom at St. George's 
High  School,
where she is to sing for her peers; and moving on to the next stage  of her 
It feels strange asking a teenager to reflect on her career,  but Yanofsky 
has no
hesitation in responding with the enthusiasm and full  confidence that have 
made her
a star.
"I am definitely feeling really  appreciative and lucky and excited about 
the way
everything's been going,"  she says with a smile you can sense, even on the 
"The whole  experience thus far has been absolutely, like, once in a 
lifetime, hard
to  describe.
"I'm living my dream, so I can't be happier!"
Wrapping up high  school means Yanofsky no longer has to balance a busy 
schedule  with classes.
Contrary to most of her contemporaries, Yanofsky says she has  no immediate 
to attend college or university. Instead, as she foresaw  four years ago, 
is the future
her singing career.
"For now there is  nothing more interesting for me than the music, and I 
really doubt
that's  going to change."
Who can blame her? Her immediate schedule includes gigs  at the Toronto, 
and North Sea jazz festivals, and headlining  with orchestras in Calgary, 
and Vancouver,
and a solo performance at the  Olympia Theatre in Paris, which takes her 
to the end of October,  with promises of much more to come.
Reflecting her wide-ranging musical  goals and broad repertoire, a jazz and 
a pop
CD also are in the  works.
How many teenage singers have played with legendary pianist Herbie  Hancock?
"The first time was last summer at the Montreux Jazz Festival with  Quincy 
Nikki recalls. "I wasn't supposed to sing with him. Quincy  was sitting 
side stage
and Herbie went out and started playing, and I went,  'Oh my gosh, this is 
thank you so much for having me here tonight,  and Quincy's like, 'Put the 
on,' he pushes me out on stage and  all of a sudden I'm scatting Watermelon 
Man with
Herbie Hancock, which was  really awesome."
The second time was a duet with Hancock at a tribute to  Barbra Streisand 
in Los Angeles
in February, where she sang a medley of On  a Clear Day and Lazy Afternoon.
As reported by the Canadian Press, Hancock  praised her as "an amazing 
young jazz
singer (with) formidable talent. She  sings in a very powerful way."
Her belting out of I Believe, the theme of  the Vancouver 2010 Winter 
Olympics, electrified
the country, and videos of  her singing it have garnered more than 1.2 
million YouTube
hits at last  count.
"The Olympic experience for me was just complete pinch-me, a once in  a 
lifetime thing."
Yanofsky felt connected to it, because "it's about  believing in yourself, 
your dreams" -- what her story is all  about.
When she performed at the Blue Note in New York City in the fall,  reviewer 
Pete Cataldo
was blown away as she sang Someone to Watch Over Me:  "The entire room came 
to a focused
silence -- the cocktail girls, the  bartenders, and the food servers.
"Her scatting is so clean and sharp now.  and her range has no bounds."
At the diva-like setting for her July 2 gig  -- Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of 
Place des
Arts, Yanofsky and her band will be  backed by the lush sounds of the full 
"It's my  fifth summer here and we kind of wanted to offer a big show. It's 
to  be breathtaking," she enthuses.
Crafting the arrangements are pianist Paul  Shrofel, who leads her band, 
and her vocal
coach Sharada Banman.
And  what songs are on the menu?
Like the pro she's become, Yanofsky does not  want to reveal too much: "I'd 
like to keep that as a  surprise."

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