Keren Ann

Tonight I was fortunate enough to attend a concert by Keren Ann at The Commons Room (in the Holiday Inn Select, a fellow Choice hotel to the Quality Inn I will be working at). I discovered her music just this past Wednesday and I’m so thankful I took the chance and was able to get a ticket to the sold out show.

With one foot in Montmartre and the other in Manhattan hip young Blue Note recording artist Keren Ann is living a charmed though somewhat schizophrenic life. A move across the Atlantic and the release of her second North American recording, Nolita, has the singer-guitarist-songwriter making big waves in the Big Apple.
A model of duality, Keren Ann is by no means your typical French chanteuse. The embodiment of a Parisian upbringing and the brash New York that has adopted her, her whisper-like voice belies a coquettish elegance while her no nonsense delivery reveals a complex and even character.
Reminiscent of both Joni Mitchell and Astrud Gilberto Keren Ann’s songs are heavy on melody and lyrically astute. Sung in both English and French they revel in the bittersweet melancholia of life without being bowed by it. Warm, intimate and engaging, the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening.
Atlantic Jazz Festival description

Her performance tonight was incredible. I have never heard a singer with a voice so precise, emotive and powerful. The instrumentation was strong and engaging, but even when she wowed us with her guitar work (both electric and accoustic) and harmonica skills or when her accompanying pianists showed their best, there was never a chance to forget her unmatched voice. Each song was completely beautiful and left me in quiet awe of her talent. She performed a good selection of my favourites and songs I’ve yet to get to know well. Among the highlights were her cover of “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” the haunting “La Forme et le Fond” (a song she told us was written as from the viewpoint of the woman at the end of the song “Copacabana“) and the terribly sad “Not Going Anywhere“. I was spellbound for the entire evening, so very deeply awed by each song and the strength of the concert as a whole. This was without a doubt one of the most moving and impressive live music experiences I’ve been blessed with.
If you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate to see Keren Ann live. I had every expectation surpassed and imagine that is universally the case. If she won’t be playing near you soon, be sure to listen to her new album, Nolita, a beautiful mix of French and English songs that breaks into diverse sonic territory.

For further reading, I’d suggest the Chartattack article, “Keren Ann Calls Everywhere Home“.

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