Friday, March 24, 2017 7:58 pm Last modified: 3:12 pm

Jacqui Naylor to Perform and Debut New Album on Water Island

Jazz vocalist and songwriter Jacqui Naylor

Jazz vocalist and songwriter Jacqui Naylor will return to Water Island this month and debuts songs from her new album, “Q&A.” She will play Providence Point, Water Island, at the residence of Alex Randall at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 25. The album will be released world-wide on March 24. Jacqui Naylor will perform with Art Khu on piano and Ken Pendergast on bass.

“Q&A” (Ruby Star Records RSR-009) is a unique jazz duo album created with multi-instrumentalist, arranger and co-composer Art Khu. The duo is best known for its work with a full quartet over many recordings, combining jazz, soul, rock and original music in new ways. Naylor and Khu gained notoriety and fans around the world with an arranging technique they coined “acoustic smashing,” — Naylor sings the lyrics and melody of a jazz tune over the groove of a rock anthem or vice versa.

“With her unique vocal style, Naylor remains one of the most superbly arresting vocalists around.”-  JazzTimes

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On the new album, they have created an intimate jazz experience with many surprises. Original songs, “This Is How It Starts” and “Here We Are At Last,” speak to the duo’s long-time collaboration, sitting comfortably next to jazz classics like “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Moonglow” and “Time After Time.”  Naylor’s uniquely identifiable and capable voice, and Khu’s ability to weave seamlessly in and out of her phrasing are evident throughout, particularly on their versions of “The Nearness Of You” and “Lush Life.” Their gospel-jazz take on the metal classic “More Than Words” is sure to be a stand-out.

A conservatory-trained pianist and composer, Khu’s ability to play alternately piano, guitar, organ and bass make this an unusual duo album. The multi-instrumentalist was commissioned to compose and orchestrate a symphony for the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, “Symphony of Souls,” performed in 2012.  Water Island is home to one of the pianist’s favorite pianos, and he looks forward to playing it each year.

They tour regularly in the U.S., Europe and Asia, performing at such esteemed venues as Blue Note in New York and Tokyo, Ronnie Scotts in London, Birdland in Hamburg, Jazz Alley in Seattle, Snug Harbor in New Orleans, SFJAZZ Center, Monterey Jazz Festival and more. Naylor’s recordings have made top 10 album lists in publications such as USA Today, Jazziz Magazine and the Washington Post.

Suggested donation: $10-$20. Ferries will leave from Crown Bay Marina at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Return ferries will be available following the show. (http://www.water-island.com/index.htm)

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