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Jazz Vocalist Virna Sanzone at Dome Bar: Interview

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by Jasmine Crittenden (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in music, film, travel, sustainability and human rights. @Jas_Crittenden
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WN catches up with 'The Voice''s behind-the-scenes coach
If you caught Paul Kelly on his 2011 'Meet Me in the Middle of the Air' tour, listen to Thirsty Merc or watch The Voice, there's every chance you've heard Virna Sanzone sing. One of Australia's most in-demand vocalists, she'll be playing a rare jazz gig this Thursday September 19 at Dome Bar, Surry Hills.

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One of Australia's most in-demand vocalists, Virna Sanzone, plays a rare jazz gig this week.


Having grown up with the soul and folk greats on high rotation, Sanzone studied jazz while a student at the Sydney Con. 'As a young girl, I was obsessed with Aretha Franklin,' she recalls. 'I did listen to all the pop stuff my friends were listening to, but I was more interested in who had influenced those artists. I was really into buying second-hand records. So I discovered a lot of soul music. The person who got me into folkie side of things was Joni Mitchell. I first heard her when I was 15 and I completely fell in love with her.

'I always had a feeling that I should learn jazz. But it wasn't until I really started studying it that I discovered its richness. My musical quest was always musical freedom. I didn't like being hemmed in. And jazz gave me that freedom. Regardless of what I'm singing, whether it's jazz or soul, I don't feel tied to it.'



As The Voice's behind-the-scenes coach for two years running, Sanzone has worked with every single finalist. 'I love being an educator and sharing what I can do,' she says. 'I love the role of coach, and helping other people to bring out their own talent and their own artistry. That's not separate from my performing - it can't be - but it's also a very different role.'

At this week's gig, she'll be playing both well-loved standards and introducing some surprises. 'One thing I love is covering new standards,' she explains. 'There are so many beautiful ones - it's a shame not to check them out. That's one of the great things about jazz - there are just countless possibilities. It seems to never end.'

Images courtesy of Virna Sanzone.
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Why? One of Australia's most in-demand vocalists plays a rare jazz gig
When: 7.30pm-10.00pm
Phone: (02) 8394 6500
Where: Level-1/589 Crown St Surry Hills NSW 2010
Cost: $10
Your Comment
Oh I love Virna - I used to get singing lessons with her, she's awesome. Saw her at the Joni Mitchell tribute at the Opera House too and it was one of the best shows ever.
by Annette Ramsland (score: 1|57) 2134 days ago
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