BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
Up and coming jazz vocalist Rebecca Angel will appear at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar in Nyack this Sunday, Dec. 9, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
It is the 22-year-old’s first appearance at Maureens, located at 2 N. Broadway in downtown Nyack. Joining Rebecca on keys will be Jason Miles; guitar, Jonah Miles Prendergast; bass, Doug Berns; and drums, Coleman Bartels.
Angel, who was introduced to jazz through her musician father, is promoting her debut EP “What We Had.” Band member Jason Miles is credited for his assistance in producing, arranging, and guiding Angel’s debut.
Music critic Hans-Bernd Hülsmann says of the EP: “Angel’s voice makes the difference. With her refined charm, she gives the songs on What We Had the overwhelming splendor.” The Rockland County Times agrees; Angel possesses an alluring voice that draws the attention of the listener and creates a range of atmosphere and mood.
Rebecca Angel recently answered questions from the Rockland County Times about her nascent music career, as well as her upcoming show at Maureen’s.
Q – Have you performed at Maureen’s before? How did the location get on your radar?
A – My lovely publicist, Lydia, introduced me to the venue and since then I’ve heard only great things about Maureen’s. I’m very honored and excited to perform there this [weekend]!
Q – Aside from your dad’s influence, what has drawn you to the soul/jazz genre as the vehicle to express your artistic talent?
A – I have loved soul and jazz since I was a young kid and went on to study vocal jazz in college at Ithaca College. I had the privilege to work with incredible voice teachers and mentors who helped mold my style and taste such as Roseanna Vitro, Kim Nazarian and Cyrille Aimèe. At age 15, I started working with Grammy-winning producer, Jason Miles, who has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians in the jazz soul genre such as Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan and Marcus Miller to name a few. Jason’s introduced me to amazing music throughout the years and helped me come up with unique arrangements to develop my own unique style and vibe.
Q – What are some themes explored in your new EP? Will your performance at Maureen’s feature all original material or will standards be performed, as well?
A – I like to sing songs that are timeless and relevant to the masses. My EP is about reminiscing of times gone by and about love. I have two original songs on the EP “What We Had” and “Feel Alive” both co-written by me and my father. I will be performing the other songs on my EP, which is a mix of Brazilian, standards and some rock! I will be adding in a new original song in my set about the current political climate and mass shootings titled “Thoughts and Prayers.”
Q – Where else have you performed?
A – I have been performing around Westchester and Manhattan since I was a teen. My dad had a band while I was in high school and I got the opportunity to perform in clubs with him such as The Metropolitan Room, Cafe Noctambulo and The Iridium. While I was at Ithaca College I performed locally and since graduating, I’ve done local gigs around Westchester including the Hastings-on-Hudson River Spirit Music Festival.
Q- Where in the metro area are you from?
A- I grew up in Scarsdale, NY.
Q – Do you wish to see a resurgence of jazz’s popularity in America or is it better off kept a bit underground? Do you concern yourself with such things?
A – That’s a hard question because the way I see it is that jazz has so many sub-genres and eras/styles. I think musicians today are drawn to different styles of jazz. Just like any style of music, jazz is always evolving. I think the most important thing is that musicians stay true to their heart and perform and write music that is authentic.
Q – Anything else you wish to tell Rockland County, the floor is yours:
A – I am so excited to be performing at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar! I look forward to sharing my original music and story to Rockland County. I’ll be backed by my producer Jason Miles on keys, guitarist Jonah Prendergast, bassist Nick Katz and drummer Derek Broomhead. I hope you can join me for a fun and relaxing night of music.”