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Mandy Gaines: Jazz from Cincinnati

Ahead of her performance at the NCPA International Jazz Festival this weekend in Mumbai, the American vocalist tells us what to expect from her set

David Britto Oct 07, 2019

American jazz vocalist Mandy Gaines. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Mandy Gaines is a musician of unparalleled versatility. The American singer’s roots might be firmly in jazz, that she’s been performing for three decades, but Gaines has also whipped up some wholesome funk, Gospel and R&B over the years that can best be heard on her 2014 record Faith Journey.

Last year, Gaines was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame, she says, “To be acknowledged for my past 30 years in the music business is a great honor.” Later this week it will be us having the honor of hosting this seasoned jazz artist on our shores at this year’s NCPA International Jazz Festival in Mumbai between October 11th-13th. “We are excited about our upcoming performance in Mumbai,” says Gaines.

When we tell Gaines about the stellar jazz gigs by young artists Kamasi Washington and Jacob Collier we’ve recently experienced in Mumbai, ask her if the genre is in the right hands to keep going strong and she says, “Just like in years before, it’s exciting and refreshing to hear the young jazz artists coming out today.” Gaines adds, “I’ve been working with several Young Lions of jazz in my hometown Cincinnati and if they are any indication of what’s going on in the rest of the jazz world, the future looks bright for jazz music!”

Also See  Rolling Stone India’s Jazz Playlist

On what attendees can expect from her set at the NCPA International Jazz Festival, the vocalist says, “A walk down memory lane with a performance from The Great American Songbook and a surprise of some modern arrangements of some old classics as well as music from new jazz artists.” Gaines will be joined onstage by Cincinnatian pianist Steve Schmidt (formerly of the Count Basie Big Band), bassist Peter Gemus and drummer Ben Bratton. “Ben and Peter are among Cincinnati’s finest new guard of jazz musicians,” she says.

Gaines also tells us that she’s been to India before to perform at a corporate gig in Bengaluru and didn’t have time to stay back then to see the sights of our country. Unfortunately this time she’s booked to play festivals in Belgium and France “and I have a new romance in my life, so no time to stay and explore Incredible India.”

Although Gaines has been releasing records for a long time, she hasn’t lost the passion of going into a studio to make new music. The vocalist is currently working on a Christmas album which will include original material as well as jazz interpretations of Christmas classics slated to be out in 2020. For now, though, Gaines says, “We are all looking forward to meeting everyone, eating great Indian cuisine and bringing some swinging jazz to Mumbai.”

Also See  Rolling Stone India’s Jazz Playlist

Click here to buy tickets for the NCPA International Jazz Festival between October 11th-13th. 

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