Multi-genre artist brings unique sound to Foothills
Wednesday, Mar 08, 2017 11:43 am
Working with a genre of music that holds no boundaries suits one Vancouver vocalist just fine.
Often described as a jazz artist, Montreal-born Vancouver musician Andrea Superstein is a master at putting her own spin on well-known songs and crafting her own songs, using a combination of jazz, rock, swing, blues, Latin and pop influences.
Superstein will share her unique talent with Foothills listeners at a concert in The Westwood, formerly The Stop, in Black Diamond March 11 at 7 p.m. to promote her sophomore album What Goes On. The album debuted at number one on CKUA radio, hit #4 on the Canadian Jazz chart and reached #16 on the CMJ.
“Sometimes when people hear ‘jazz vocalist’ they have a special expectation of what that means,” she said. “People say to me after a show, ‘I don’t like jazz but I love you.’”
To Superstein, jazz means a lot of things.
“Essentially it’s about freedom in the way that you approach music,” she said. “When people ask me how do I define the music, I say it has some jazz sensibilities, but I don’t live entirely in one musical box. I have lots of different influences and try to bring those together in a way that makes sense and is accessible to people.”
The rules of jazz music are simple, said Superstein, there are no rules.
“We can play a song one way one night and completely change it up another night,” she said. “There’s that freedom and improvisation and it’s being reincarnated all the time. It’s constantly challenging me to explore ideas and not get stuck in one particular spot. It’s constantly growing and learning.”
Superstein initially delved into music by interpreting some of the classic jazz standards she loved.
“The beautiful thing is being able to find out how to put your own spin on something and make it new,” she said. “I really want to find a way to either breathe new life into an old song or change the way that it feels.”
For instance, Superstein will take an up-tempo song and play with the arrangements to create a down-tempo ’90s trip-hop vibe.
“I approach the lyrics from a different perspective so it means something completely different,” she said. “I stay with them for a long time and see how can I authentically make this different and put my own stamp on it in a meaningful way that’s actually me.
“It’s that notion of transforming something old and making it new or writing a brand new song that has the old-time sensibilities, but it’s an entirely new composition.”
Superstein has found herself taking a different direction with her music in recent years.
Her first release was very much a jazz standards album. Superstein has been writing more of her own music, which is reflected in What Goes On.
“There’s a lot of different elements to this record,” she said. “It’s not entirely a jazz record, it’s certainly not entirely an indie record, it crosses the line between those. I like that it pushes those boundaries.”
Superstein is already working on her next album, alongside Juno Award nominee Elizabeth Shepherd of Montreal, which will consist of mostly original songs.
Tickets to see Andrea Superstein perform cost $30 and can be purchased at The Westwood.