No doubt about it, really – Kristin Berardi isone of the finest vocalists, not only in Australia, but worldwide. Any chance to see her perform, in any setting, should be cherished, but a double performance? Now, this is truly special. This is exactly what awaits those lucky people in Sydney, who will go to the Riverside Theatres Parramatta on Sunday 24 November to see her perform with two of the most adventurous artists in the Australian jazz scene; bassist Sam Anning and piano legend Mike Nock. The concert is part of the Freedman New Jazz program, curated by SIMA – “a fantastic opportunity for folks to present their new projects and have a platform to do so,” as the singer herself puts it.
What would you say to invite people to your Freedman New Jazz concert?
I’d say Come!
It’s going to be very special in that Sam Anning and I will do a set of our music – which is more exploratory in terms of sounds and textures; that sounds odd seeing as it’s just the two of us, but you just have to trust me. And then I will be doing the second set with Mike Nock’s trio – where we will explore more the standard jazz repertoire.
You are performing in two different settings; does that take more preparation?
Yes it does, but it’s worth it.
How would you describe your rapport with Mike Nock and Sam Anning?
Sam and I definitely feel the groove in the same place and we have a shared history of jazz and singer songwriter/ folk sensibilities or tastes and we draw upon that, I feel.
With Mike I love that our common thread is the jazz standard repertoire and language and also that the music may go anywhere. He literally might just inject an extra section and we all just go with it.
I think the main link for both is trust and respect. We respect each other and the music and we trust that the choices made are being made for the benefit of the music, its beauty and its communication.
How did Our Songs, Not Songs come to be?
[Sam Anning and I] found we both wrote songs with lyrics and had a love for singer songwriters.
How ‘jazz’ is this album?
It’s jazz and it’s not jazz basically -it definitely has that influence and there are songs on this album which have been “more Jazz-ily” recorded but… it’s different.
What is the most challenging thing, when you perform in a bass-vocal duet setting?
The challenge is embracing the space – but that is also the best thing about it.
Depending on the song, I may suddenly feel like maybe we are not giving the listeners enough information, but if I just surrender to that space I focus back on how I can serve the music – and it seems to work out.
How different is your stage persona to your everyday self?
For better or worse she is the same.
I couldn’t never get my head around being someone else on stage- or even in a song.
If you could go back in time and meet your teenage self, what would you tell her?
“Relax! It’s going to be ok!”