She sings…and Swings – Sonia Saigal

We were lucky to hear Sonia Saigal last night..In concert with her Dad .the legendary voice of Calcutta – Don Saigal.., with arrangements and a band led by Louiz Banks

.Sonia is a sensation..and if you are in India and want to hear a world class jazz vocalist, go listen to her…

Sonia comes from a deep tradition.. Jazz is in her DNA..Last night we heard Sonia conjure up shades of Carmen McRae and Betty Carter as she hit the stage after a wonderful “Nature Boy” by her dad Don..She blew us away …especially on God Bless This Child..which is a brave tune for any female vocalist to perform because of the Billie aura..but with a very contemporary arrangement by Louiz Banks that underpinned it. Sonia found the blues in this wonderful jazz classic and shared them with us. .

Our regret is that we could not grab Sonia’s singing during our shoot in Calcutta..she is a wonderfully gracious lady who was generous with her time in an interview that we share below..with an underlying vocal from an earlier time (almost 8 years ago, with the Carlton Kitto ensemble! ) ..

Bombay..if you know what jazz is all about..bring Sonia back

If anyone has a video of the performance from the session in Bombay..please share !

UPDATE: Sonia sent us two links ..which include some fresh interpretation of the standards ! LISTEN !! – Great interpretation of Up Jumped Spring !!

6 thoughts on “She sings…and Swings – Sonia Saigal

  1. Sonia is a tremendously huge talent She has what it takes to be at the top of the vocal jazz firmament, despite the crowded space in that niche Sadly, jazz continues to be US, no, New York centric . Critics there rave about some singers like Roberta Gamabarini If only there could be a way for them to listen to Sonia……

    • Ashwin..yes there is a way..there are all these people who like being associated with Jazz associations in Mumbai, Pune, Calcutta and Delhi..I understand there was a festival in Delhi sponsored by ICCR etc..and I hear there is a group associated with the NCPA in Mumbai.. who are these people ? what are they doing ? ..Are they doing anything about developing and showcasing Indian jazz talent..?

  2. Quality Indian artists have at some time performed at the venues in Bombay but then with only one fest in a year one cannot expect to have the same performers year in and out Exposure is required in other festivals in Europe and the rest of Asia to start with But thats not good enough The sad truth is that the ultimate destination for any jazz performer seeking global recognition is the Big Apple Even talented jazz musicians in other parts of the world and even parts of the US are not on the critics radar unless they gig repeatedly in the venues of that city and bring out a few albums which hopefully the critics notice Look at how Eldar,Hiromi,Avishai Cohen and many others got into the spotlight Ask Vijay Rudresh or any other jazz immigrant to NYC from anywhere and they will corroborate this. Finally, ask Dan Morgenstern Its like Hollywood or like playing in the UEFA League

  3. Shes the bestest vocalist that India has to offer on an platform — national…and international
    shes my favourite singer… coz in her voice u hear happiness and pain and uffff stunning
    love u pretty saigal

  4. This woman is great – I don’t care where she lives. I’ve been a musican my entire life, in the U.S. She’s better than most people in New York. I stumbled across her singing and I’m blown away…. And she can sing anything – I’ve surfed the web. You’ve got a treasure, there, in India. I cannot believe that she is not internationally known. The world will hear from this voice. Greetings from Detroit.

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