If you want a singer to celebrate Valentine's Day and love, Denzal Sinclaire, with a honeyed voice that could charm the pants off a... (well, you know), is your man.
The Canadian singer has appeared in Winnipeg a few times over the years, and is so popular the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra added a third concert this weekend to its usual two for My One And Only Love featuring Sinclaire.
The Juno nominee is more than familiar with the American Songbook love songs that make up the show's set list — like any good singer, he has absorbed them all over the years.
So what is it about those songs that makes them so attractive to singers and audiences alike?
"I believe it's because they are well-crafted songs. Great melodies and lyrics that are timeless," Sinclaire says.
You can expect to hear great numbers such as My One And Only Love, Nature Boy, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Cheek to Cheek, S'Wonderful, The Way You Look Tonight and Happier Than the Morning Sun from the pens of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Jimmy McHugh and Stevie Wonder. If you want love, lyrics and lush music, that's the package.
The concert program includes students from River East Collegiate's Vocalease at the Saturday and Sunday evening shows and Garden City Collegiate Groove at the Sunday matinee.
Sinclaire has performed with the WJO before, and although you're more likely to hear him in a smaller group setting, singing with a big band is not a problem for the pro.
"I would say that any changes or adjustments I make when performing with a larger ensemble are minor. I might sustain notes a little longer or phrase in response to the rhythm accompaniment of the band. In a piano trio setting, I'm accompanying myself on piano and so I dictate the accompaniment," he says.
Does Sinclaire have a favourite love song?
"One of my favourites is Irving Berlin's Always."
The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra's My One And Only Love concerts take place at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($34 adult. $15 student) are available at winnipegjazzorchestra.com and McNally Robinson.
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It's our good luck that Karl Kohut is looking for some good luck.
The 27-year-old bassist is auditioning for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles this month and the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard in New York in March. Before he goes, though, he's holding a good luck concert Tuesday.
Kohut has undergrad and master's degrees in classical music from the University of Manitoba, taken before the jazz studies program, and wants to add some intensive master's level jazz instruction from one of those prestigious schools.
At the Monk Institute, he'll be one of five bassists vying for one spot in a band of eight students in the program that combines performance and critiques from faculty such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Kenny Burrell, along with teaching in public schools, Kohut says.
Kohut sent audition tapes to all three schools and was picked to audition in person.
His Tuesday show will feature a mix of standards and more contemporary compositions by the likes of trumpeters Wynton Marsalis and Woody Shaw and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel -- music he'll be playing at his audition.
The concert is Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Exchange Community Church, 75 Albert St. Admission is $10. He will be performing with U of M faculty members Will Bonness (piano) and Quincy Davis (drums).