Q&A | Stacey Kent, Jazz Singer | 35TH FIMM

Stacey Kent: Seize the moment crucial to stage performances

Stacey Kent, one of the world’s most beautiful jazz voices, will be returning to Macau for the third time for a one-night-only show at the Venetian Theater. The show is part of the program of the 35th Macao International Music Festival (FIMM).

Currently busy on tour in the US, the jazz singer spoke with the Times to prepare her Macau audience for her upcoming show. She disclosed that as her new album Summer Me, Winter Me will be released on Nov. 10, songs from the record – including released singles “If You Go Away” and “Under Paris Skies” – will be in the program. Apart from these songs, the show will be focused on “Songs from Other Places,” which is both the name of one of her previous albums and this show.

MDT: How excited are you about returning to Macau after nine years?

Stacey Kent (SK): I can’t believe it’s already been nine years! I’m looking forward to returning – we’ve been in Macau twice, and each time has been wonderful, with lots of good memories. There are beautiful theaters and lovely people. I can sense that people have been waiting for us to come and we’ve been waiting to come back, so it’s palpable excitement. I am also very excited to come back to Macau and perform “Tango in Macao” for the very first time in Macau. Last time we were there, the song hadn’t been written yet. So it’s much fun and exciting.

MDT: How is this show different from the previous two in Macau? What have you prepared for the audience?

SK: Each performance is different. The last two times we were in Macau, we were on different projects. This is another different project. It will be me with Jim Tomlinson – my husband, saxophonist, composer, producer and arranger – we are always together. But this time, there will be our pianist Art Hirahara. This show will focus on the project we’ve been doing for years, and the album that came out last year – “Songs from Other Places.” We will also play newer songs and songs from older albums. There will also be materials that have not been recorded yet, but will be played live. So it will be based on what the three of us do as one voice in “Songs from Other Places,” which I am very proud of as well as love presenting and sharing on stage.

MDT: How should your Macau audience prepare for “Tango in Macao” and “Songs from Other Places”?

SK: Our current tour is actually nine weeks long in 14 countries. Although we’re basing the program on a core repertoire, because the three of us know each other and our materials so well, we can bounce around from song to song according to the mood we’re in and [that] we feel in the house. Each show can be different from each other. For example, in the Quebec show, although there was a set list, at a moment when my mood came for a particular song, I just threw it in because we were so much in the mood.

I think the thing about being on stage is very much having the feeling of being present – not about the future or the past. All that [the] audience needs to do is to open their ears and come on this journey with us. I think the thing about making this particularly beautiful music is how it touches people’s hearts.

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