What do you do if you’re born with a natural musical gift into a family of opera singers? What do you make of such a blessing, or, alternatively, curse?
That was the question facing Adi Braun, the jazz/cabaret singer who performs at ArtSpring on Saturday, October 12. Her parents were both prominent stars of the Canadian opera world, and her brother, Russell Braun, has become one of the leading baritones of the modern generation.
Adi’s first answer as a teenager was to turn to jazz and pop, recording her first album at age 19. But then the second answer after high school was to leave all that behind and follow in the family trade, studying classical music at the University of Toronto and then performing for several years as a singer with the Canadian Opera Company and Toronto’s Opera Atelier.
But tug of the musical heart was too strong, and in 2000 she began moving “sideways”, as she puts it, into both jazz and cabaret singing. After that there was no looking back. From winning a local competition in 2001 to a nomination as “Best Major Jazz Vocalist of the Year” in 2007 by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, her career has been entirely her own and one full of accolades.
Here is New York critic Elizabeth Alfors describing Adi’s art: “A tad Dinah Washington, a hint of Lena Horne, the enveloping warmth of Doris Day, all gift-wrapped in a unique sound that is singular Adi Braun!”
And from Germany: “Adi Braun is a power-frau who gives jazz standards a unique touch, telling stories that are miniature life moments”.
Adi’s repertoire ranges from the Great American songbook, to European cabaret, to contemporary songs by Canadian legends Shirley Eikhard and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as her own originals. At ArtSpring she performs with a great jazz quartet including bassist Jodi Proznick, whom ArtSpring introduced to local audiences with her own trio in 2008.
Tickets for the 7:30 performance on Saturday, October 12 are $23 regular or $5 for all youth under 18, and can be had from the ArtSpring Ticket Centre 537-2102 or online at http://www.tickets.artspring.ca.