ARTicle Magazine

Five questions for Gretchen Parlato

08 April 2018

US jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato will bring her tribute to Brazilian influences "flor" to the capital for one show at the Opera House during the Wellington Jazz Festival in June.  

Gretchen Parlato

Experience gretchen parlato flor live at Wellington's Opera House on Friday 8 JuneTickets here

Along with your own four albums, you’ve collaborated on more than 80 other recordings. What do you rate as your most exciting collaboration?

I’m very fond of my collaboration with Esperanza Spalding, she’s one of my favorite humans!

You grew up in a musical family. Do you think musical talent is somewhat inherited?

Definitely, but it is a combination of nature and nurture. Some aspects are passed down – we have no control of that. But exposure to music at home, school, in life, is equally impactful. 

Your voice is your instrument. Is there anything special you need to do to take care of it?

I try to take care of my voice as I take care of my entire body; eating well, exercising, staying hydrated, resting and recovering. Emotions and stress can be reflected in my voice, so it’s also important to spiritually take care, working through feelings as not to hold them in my throat or heart. Yoga and meditation help as well.

What should Wellington Jazz Festival audiences expect from your project gretchen parlato flor?

gretchen parlato flor is a new project that honors my love of Brazilian music. “Flor” means flower, representing blossoming, opening, renewal, and return, as I am returning to music after taking some time away for motherhood. The music is all within a Brazilian context, some nostalgic and familiar sounds, some original and new, bringing and gathering other genres, but all in a unique intimate context. I am accompanied by Marcel Camargo on guitar,  Artyom Manukyan on cello, and Leo Costa on drums/percussion.

“The music is all within a Brazilian context, some nostalgic and familiar sounds, some original and new, bringing and gathering other genres, but all in a unique intimate context”

What music are you listening to right now? 

I'm listening to the new Meshell Ndegeocello album. I love it! 

Gretchen Parlato "flor" is brought to Wellington Jazz Festival with support from The Dominion Post.