Singer’s Smooth Jazz Sounds
Just Part Of Soundtrack To Beach Life
Gazette Newspaper - October 2002 By Sandy Robins
Soraya Shaw has a smooth jazz style that is shown off on her new CD.
I am not sure what it is exactly that attracts people to live and
work in a particular place. But this area certainly has an
interesting blend of creative people.
Taking center stage this week is singer Soraya Shaw, whose first CD,
Daydreams, has just been released.
To mark the debut of this wonderful collection of smooth jazz music,
she gave an informal recital at Borders on Bellflower last week.
Her voice, with its soft, velvety tones, is reminiscent of singer
Astrid Gilberto who popularized the famous Brazil 66 sound.
Shaw’s musical resume is as comprehensive as her range of
musical styles. Like many of today’s musical greats,
her roots are classical.
I started taking piano lessons at the age of 4, she recalls.
My grandmother was my first teacher. She was also a composer and
an accomplished pianist.
Around 11, she started playing the flute and studying classical voice.
As a child, it was my dream to be an opera singer.
But I married at 18 and had two children soon afterwards, she said.
It wasn’t a career that blended well with my life at the time.
So she focused on musical theater instead, ultimately finding a niche
for herself teaching.
I had such a wonderful time as a child learning from my grandmother,
I endeavor to pass this experience on to my pupils, Shaw said.
I think around 4 years (old) is a good time for a child to sit down at
a piano for the first time.
She is quick to point at that for students of any age,
it’s not only about grasping the techniques that will
make them shine.
The total package includes the desire to learn and the dedication
to practice, she adds.
While she enjoys singing jazz and listening to jazz fusion,
classical music still is her first love.
I think I get the biggest thrill out of singing certain kinds of
church music, she said. It’s a combination of the beauty
of the music and the text that I love.
Currently she is a church cantor at Saint Irenaeus Catholic Church,
one of the largest and most active parishes in Southern California.
She also sings at Saint Philip Benizi Parish, the home of the
Saint Vincent DePaul Society.
I feel I am being useful and also it makes me feel close to God,
Regarding jazz, she cites Ella Fitzgerald as being her all time
favorite artist and lists the evergreen compositions In a Sentimental Mood
and For Heaven’s Sake as her two best loved tracks on her debut CD.
Soraya gives regular jazz concerts in the Long BeachLos Angeles area
and is currently planning a concert in St Louis early next year.
She’ll appear this Saturday evening at the Borders store in the
Block at Orange. You also can buy her CD and play it during those
endless freeway commutes. It may just change the way you feel about
the road ahead.
Daydreams is released on Alpha Lyrae Records and is available at
Borders and Tower Records.
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