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Theatre jazzed for On Stage

It is only fitting that the Arden Theatre close the second season of its On Stage Series with a sampling of eclectic Quebecois jazz. Carmen and David are coming to St.

It is only fitting that the Arden Theatre close the second season of its On Stage Series with a sampling of eclectic Quebecois jazz.

Carmen and David are coming to St. Albert on Sunday with a string of fresh interpretations ranging from the Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour catalogue of torch songs to Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra standards.

In day-to-day life Carmen is really Carmen Genest, and David is actually David Jacques. Hailing from Quebec City, the two real-life partners have a flourishing professional partnership that combines classical guitar with modern jazz/pop/soul vocals.

Both attended Laval University and Jacques, who has a doctorate in baroque guitar interpretation, arranges the songs and accompanies while Genest, an evocative singer of classical and jazz, performs the numbers and plays percussion.

During their decade-long association, the francophone duo has released three CDs under XXI-21 label – Bleu, Swing Minouche and Grand Voyageur, inspired by a volley of tours to far-flung places including Chile, Singapore, Pakistan and Indonesia.

“We have been to Poland three times. It was a country that was so closed before and now they are free. And now they want to discover all kinds of music,” explains Genest in halting English.

“And India was so crazy. It was like another planet. We went twice. It is different from the rest of the world. You can hate it or love, but you are never untouched.”

The pair met when Genest was looking for a guitarist. A friend highly recommended Jacques and as luck would have it, their styles synchronized on the first note.

“We played together and it clicked. When I sing, it’s like he breathes at the same time as me. He can feel what I want to do. I don’t have to tell him anything.”

The day after their first gig they searched for a bass player and started playing local restaurants, clubs and concert halls. Tours, festivals and even concert broadcasts on Radio-Canada, CBC, Radio Islamabad, Radio Uno in Bosnia and BBC World followed.

Genest came by her love of jazz naturally, growing up in a granola family from the “peace and love” generation. Her guitar-playing father and vocalist mother encouraged music and Genest had a piano and two guitars in her bedroom.

Today the jazz singer is high in demand, but attributes much of her success to Jacques’ skill. ”David plays jazz notes with a classical technique and plays guitar and bass at the same time.”

At the Arden’s 75-minute concert, Genest will sing in four languages. “I will explain the songs. We want to be with the crowd, not in front of the crowd.”

For more information visit www.davidjacques.com.

Preview

Carmen and David<br />On Stage Series<br />Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m.<br />Arden Theatre<br />5 St. Anne Street<br />Tickets: $50. Call 780-459-1542 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca


Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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