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Festival Archives

Sarah Vaughan

Opening act: Oliver Jones and Charlie Biddle

Sarah, "The Divine", Vaughan gives Montréal the opening performance to its Fourth Jazz Festival. Backed by a group of musicians well­versed in jazz memorabilia, Sarah Vaughan will present a concert covering all of the jazz periods.

Pianist Oliver Jones and double-bassist Charlie Biddle hadn't played together in 25 years when they got back together a little over two years ago. Their enormous knowledge of jazz history enables them to present an extremely varied repertoire. Drummer Bernard Primeau will foin the team for this performance.


It was written in the stars... The bebop era which started in 1944 had to have its own singing ambas­sador to match the musical prowess of Gillespie and Parker and the other young Turks of 52nd Street. When she was 16, her parents and friends encouraged her to enter the amateur show at the Apollo Theatre. The star of the show that followed the ama­teur performances was none other than Ella Fitzgerald who had, eight years before, won the same amateur contest. The fates were playing a trump card. Sarah Vaughan won the con test. Billy Eckstine, having heard comments about a talented young female singer, had been in the au­dience. Impressed by Sarah Vaughan's vocal artistry, he recom­mended her to Earl Hines who led one of the most popular big bands of the time. She sang with the band for a year or so.

In November 1943, Sarah Vaughan leaves Earl Hines. Six months later, she joins the Billy Eckstine band and they record one song: "l'll Wait and Pray".

In 1946, she leads her own trio and plays a gig at the "Onyx Cub" on 52nd Street. In 1949, she spends three weeks at "Ciro's" in Los Angeles. That same year, her record­ing of "Dedicated to You" is so successful that Sarah Vaughan earns national fame. In 1950, her choruses in "Shulie a Bop" wins over ail the critics and she is dubbed "The Di­vine".

During the 50's, Sarah Vaughan be­came internationally famous through her recordings with Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Cannonball Adderley and Ernie Wilkins. Tours follow tours.

Then came a period of semi-retire­ment, between 1967 and 1972, when Sarah Vaughan shunned recording studios. Since then, all her releases have been on the Pablo label. This "third period" of her career shows a broader musical repertoire. Her al­bum "I Love Brazil" is witness to this evolution.

Her latest album, "Crazy and Mixed­Up", is confirmation of what one critic wrote of her: "Sarah Vaughan is a singer of such talent that she has, involuntarily, eclipsed the other vo­calists of her era."

Série A - Les Grands Concerts
Friday, July 1, 1983 at 7:00 PM
Théâtre St-Denis

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July 1983

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