Women Of The World Mesmerized At Regattabar
Someone I met at a show suggested that I would enjoy seeing Women Of The World; when their most recent show at Regattabar was announced, I made plans to be in that audience. I am so glad I attended this sold-out show!
What an engaging group of young musicians (women and men) from many parts of the world.
There are four women who do all of the lead singing but also play some instruments. They are Ayumi Ueda from Japan, Giorgia Renosto from Italy, Annette Philip from India, and Débòrah Pierre from the United States and Haiti. Ayumi formed the group while at Berklee College of Music with a goal of bringing peace and unity to the world through music.
What beautiful voices these women possess! They take turns at singing lead, and the harmonizing they did in each song (or at least most songs) was ethereal. I was transported to a place where peace reigned. At least for this listener, Ayumi’s goal has been reached.
The instrumentalists who complete their sound are Hinako Sato on piano from Japan, Billy Yeung on sax and flutes from China, Achal Murthy on bass from Luxembourg, Penelope Santana on guitar from Dominican Republic, Negah Santos on percussion from Brazil, and Patrick Simard on drums from Canada. They had a string quartet with them for this show who added another dimension to the performance.
They played original songs as well as traditional songs from various countries and are planning to be in the studio next year recording an album composed entirely of original music.
Their stage banter enhanced the show and it was clear to me that they have the utmost respect and love for one another. Their performance would be strained and awkward if the opposite were true.
During one of the songs, they riffed on ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, which is my favorite piece of music. I was thrilled, and told Ayumi after the show about my tattoo of the opening measures of that oeuvre. She got a little emotional.
Their last song was ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, a song I listened to so much as a teenager that I probably wore out the grooves of the album (yes, vinyl)! I had tears streaming down my face during the song and was able to tell Giorgia how moved I was at their rendition of that classic song.
The most unusual part of the show came when they performed a traditional Japanese song; Kana Iwane, a young Japanese calligrapher, dressed in kimono with a beautiful lily in her hair, brought a canvas to the stage and covered the background artwork with kanji while the band performed a song without words (I know, that sounds impossible – think of scat singing which consists of phrases that are not real words, and you’ll understand the concept). That painting was auctioned by silent auction during the show and one lucky member of the audience took it home. What a fantastic way to raise funds for the band!
They obviously enjoyed playing to the appreciative crowd. Their songs, which I describe as folk music from around the world, resonated with me despite my not speaking most of the languages in which they were singing. It did not matter that I did not understand the words; I felt the spirit of those words.
I look forward to seeing them again, perhaps after their new album is released! Women Of The World should appeal to anyone who enjoys unusual performances of music that speaks to the heart and soul.
Ticket courtesy of Regattabar; all opinions are my own.
Posted on November 25, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Annette Philip, Ayumi Ueda, concert review, Deborah Pierre, Giorgia Renosto, Regattabar, Women of the World, world folk music, world music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.