Stacey Kent Trio with Jim Tomlinson and Art Hirahara
The Stacey Kent Trio, featuring Jim Tomlinson and Art Hirahara, gave a captivating performance at the Theatre Maisonneuve on 1st July 2023. The Montreal audience welcomed them warmly, making their ninth appearance at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) feel like a true homecoming.
Stacey Kent’s Prix Ella Fitzgerald
At the beginning of the concert, Stacey Kent received the prestigious Prix Ella Fitzgerald from festival co-founder Alain Simard. He reflected on how her 2010 album “Raconte-Moi” had been a turning point for her relationship with the Montreal audience. With over 2 million album sales and 400 million streams, Stacey Kent has become a global sensation. She announced her upcoming album, set for release before she resumes touring in October.
Art Hirahara’s Elegant Pianism
Art Hirahara’s masterful piano playing was a highlight of the evening. His serene rendition of “Blackbird” was particularly captivating. The audience was drawn in by the hushed, slow versions of songs like Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas” (in English) and Leo Ferre’s “Avec Le Temps.” Kent’s impeccable diction and phrasing, whether in English, French, or Portuguese, added to the magic of the performance.
Expanding the Repertoire with Jim Tomlinson and Kazuo Ishiguro
The Stacey Kent Trio’s repertoire includes classic French and Brazilian songs, as well as original compositions by Jim Tomlinson with lyrics by Kazuo Ishiguro. Songs like “Tango in Macau” and “Bonita” explore themes of relationships, while “I wish I could go travelling” offers a reflection on the pandemic. It remains to be seen whether other singers will embrace these songs and give them wider recognition.
A Warm Reception from the Montreal Audience
Stacey Kent expressed her deep gratitude and emotions towards the Montreal audience throughout the evening. The audience reciprocated these emotions with several standing ovations, making it clear that they were delighted to have her back in their city.
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