(photo credit: Wikicommons)
For the past four years, Nancy Karin Vardi has appeared in her jazz and ragtime
show, "Some Kinda Spirit", at venues across the country.
Music is Vardi’s
life, she tells The Jerusalem Post, her background within the field both vast
and constantly growing.
She studied musicology at the music academy at
Tel Aviv University as well as with a variety of teachers, young and old, from
all stretches of Europe, the US and of course, Israel.
Vardi is keen to
continually expand her knowledge, and has attended multiple cabaret and theater
classes at Yale University – advancing her study to the present day.
Kinda Spirit follows the story of the birth of jazz in America, beginning with
its grassroots in plantation songs and gospel, moving through ragtime and
leading up to early jazz.
The production also includes a hint of reggae
music, which represents the first stop of the tragic slave trade that originated
in the Bahamas.
Vardi has been to New York City’s Harlem neighborhood to
investigate the origins of gospel music. She has traveled to Tortola in the
British Virgin Islands to absorb their musical traditions.
song selection was carefully researched and selected from the New York Music
Library, and each piece demonstrates a different aspect of jazz and is iconic
for the period being covered.
By the time the curtain closes, Vardi
manages to expand her audience’s appreciation for the form and its various
subtleties. It is an education in the foundations of the genre.
passionate performances by everyone involved lend a synergy and dimension to the
music that speaks directly to the soul; each player adds their own unique
Anavya Ben-Shaliah is the other lead vocalist alongside Vardi, and
delivers a powerful and authentic performance, skillfully melding singing and
On the piano, Oren Sela does a precise job of setting the
mood and navigating the keys with elegance. The percussionist, Asaf Dagan,
includes cajón among his instruments, which meshes well and is creatively
Of all the songs Vardi sings, each one better than the last, her
rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Gypsy Without A Song” stands out as one of the
most powerful and moving of the night.
The excellent performances,
coupled with the way Some Kinda Spirit tells its story through words and music,
make it an unforgettable experience.Another performance is planned for
June at The Zone, 13 Harechev St., Tel Aviv.