Oct-vember. Where does the time go. Jeepers.
With a noticeable chill in the air, swathes of synthetic material acting as barriers to the elements and a distinct urge to stay indoors to sip tea & mulled wine (!). I reluctantly ventured West, to Hammersmith, last Friday. Invited by an Estonian colleague, Anna, a captivating character; a look of beauty and a passionate opinions, I was intrigued to hear whether her voice matched.
Part of The European Jazz Festival and set in the Jazz Cafe POSK, a Polish cultural centre, I slipped in to an intimately exquisite room. A vibrant, bluesy atmosphere that oozed passion. Slipping into a chair I awaited the performance. Naturally nursing a whiskey on the rocks, donning a gold cocktail dress and hive.
A rich mix of cultures pouring in, the anticipation was tangible.
She entered, dazzling the tumble weed silent onlookers. Demure in black, with a thigh high split. Every inch the star.
Introducing her band, she eased us in slowly with Manhattan, roused our emotions with Infant Eyes, elated with Fascinating Rhythm and astonished with her version of Just Take Five.
Whilst I've seen Jazz in cities across the globe, the emotive nature of Annas work set itself apart from the aforementioned. Asking her how she would like her work to be perceived, Anna noted she wanted the audience to have 'that good feeling inside. You know what I mean? The feeling that makes you sing and dance and love and fly.'
With her mother spotting Annas raw talent aged 11, she was encouraged to study classical vocals in her home of Estonia. Moving onto jazz, she felt confident and her passions were energised. By 2008, Anna was noted as a musical talent throughout Estonia.
A chance meeting with Toby Stone, late 2010, planted visions of London, storming the music scene as she had done in Estonia; taking a leap of faith, into the unknown. February saw this vision realised and embracing the unfamiliar Anna set out to overcome all obstacles, including the language barrier.
Fast forward to 21 October 2011. With a confident breath, Anna announced an Estonian song;Pigiling. About a young bird; unsure of itself. Unsure of the world. Apprehensive about its future. Feeling harsh realities on bursting the homely bubble. & yet daring to make a move. Take the world on. Do what she was meant to do ...
... I advocate Anna in the same capacity. Taking the leap and flying as she is most definately meant to.