Miss Adele M. Wilding is also the Winner of the 2005 BWA Nina Simone Award (London, UK). I'm very excited to jump into this blog with her. Visit the link at the bottom of the article if you wish to register for her Masterclass!
Official Website: www.adelemwilding.bandzoogle.com
Facebook: Adele M. Wilding Jazz
Photo Credit: Garth Balint
Q) Adele! I first met you at Karin's Salon Songs private sessions last spring and we spoke on feeling and expressing feeling loss in music. First, please give the readers a cliff note about your history in Jazz and your relationship to Vancouver.
Hello Jessica! So lovely to chat with you. Like many a jazz artist, jazz was a genre that I was exposed to from my childhood years. I am classically trained in both piano and voice. It wasn't until my stint in Europe that I had decided to pursue jazz as a genre. I sang at a summer festival in Germany many years ago. It went down well, so I continued to pursue jazz singing and went professional in the early 2000s.
Vancouver is a city with whom I have had a lengthy love affair. My professional network has always included Vancouver musicians of all genres. It was during an Easter Holiday in 2016, after debuting at the Brentwood Jazz Evensong, that various musical friends encouraged me to make the move out here. I was based in Alberta at the time, and I was grateful that family, friends and colleagues had encouraged and supported my relocation. I have not looked back since transplanting myself here. It has been a good move, career wise and otherwise.
Q) Then - THE MASTERCLASS! Tell me more about your upcoming masterclass - it's a two-day long weekend masterclass that ends with a concert on the Sunday! Can you tell me more about the modal improvisation sessions and why you decided to work on this technique along with focusing the workshop on working with an accompanist?
Yes! I am excited to be presenting this event, so I will tell you more about it:
The Weekend Masterclass (entitled 'Melody & Harmony: The Intimacy of Vocal Jazz & Piano') runs from February 29 to March 1st at Brentwood Presbyterian Church in Burnaby. Saturday is "boot camp" day. All three of the vocal masterclass leaders are presenting core sessions for our participants: Darlene Cooper Ketchum is presenting vocal jazz techniques, Cecile Larochelle is presenting her MIX Blend Voice technique, and I am opening the weekend with my modal improvisation session.
The core session of the weekend will be Communicating with Your Accompanist, led by the amazing pianist Bill Sample. On Sunday, all of the participants (including the vocal leaders) will be performing for the public, accompanied by Bill.
a. So…The reason I chose to present modal improvisation is that it is an easy and accessible means of encouraging vocal improvisation or scatting. A lot of jazz and popular music is modal in its structure, and examples of existing standards will be alluded to in my session. Once you internalize the pitches of each mode, there is no "wrong note", so to speak. The use of modes are a great way to develop confidence in improvisation.
b. As the melody provider, the vocalist has to establish a connection with the harmony and rhythm providers, otherwise, one does not have a performance. How the vocalist relates to the accompanist(s) needs to transform into something unique for the listeners. Crucial questions: 'How do I connect with my musicians? How do I want my listeners to feel during each song?' We the vocal leaders will also be looking for these elements in each of the participant's performances with Bill.
Q) I want to hear more about your work and your art, what inspires you to create music?
a. Well, to date, I have released four commercial recordings, the most recent of which is my cover of the Bruce Cockburn Christmas classic, 'Shepherds'. As an artist, I am fundamentally a contemporary jazz vocalist/composer/ arranger. My current project, 'Caribbean & Blue', is a fusion of mainstream jazz and Caribbean grooves. On March 21st, I will be performing selected numbers from this project at the Music @ Queens Concert Series in New Westminster. Natalia Pardalis and Akylina Pardalis will be appearing as guest vocalists, along with our amazing band of Dan Reynolds (piano), Mark Bender (bass) and Buff Allen (drums).
b. The core of my inspiration is the result of my travels: the sunrises, the sunsets, the landscapes and nature that I have been fortunate to experience internationally. I have always had this affinity with my natural surroundings…During my 30s, I would write about edgier topics: current events and social phenomena, for instance. These days, my writing emanates from my spirituality.
Q) Who are the jazz musicians and vocalists you're listening to right now?
Interesting you should ask…I am currently working towards composing for sync placements, so I have been diving into my back catalogue of influential artists: Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Norah Jones mainly.
Q) All time favourite album?
Obsession by Tessa Souter.
Q) Why Jazz versus any other genre?
Jazz is a very open, boundless genre. As a vocalist, I enjoy the freedom that is derived from jazz phrasing. As a writer, I enjoy the endless possibilities in my choice of grooves, notes and chord progressions, to name a few elements.
Q) Can we speak on the importance of meaningful music? Why does it matter to feel what you're singing?
As an artist, if what you choose to perform does not speak to you, you will not be able to speak to your audience. As an educator, I always remind singers, especially aspiring young singers, that when you sing, you are performing a monologue. One needs to physically recite the lyric, when choosing one's vocal repertoire. Choose what matters to you as an artist, and share it with the world. What you share is a reflection of your core as an artist.
Link to Masterclass Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/melody-harmony-theintimacy-of-