Past and present collide with jazz vocalist Alysa Haas, but her upcoming performance at the ArtsWestchester Jazz Fest on September 4 is sure to be beautifully timeless.
Combining Broadway standards and classics from the Great American Songbook with contemporary pop music, Haas courageously steps beyond the predictable and safe; her eclectic taste in covers reveals her stylistic and emotional range, baring no weaknesses as she gracefully transitions from one genre to another.
Haas captures the emotional weight and film-noir sexiness to spring the standards back to life. No stranger to the stage, Haas fuels these songs with a vibrant, larger-than-life personality that is completely irresistible. “I’m very comfortable on the stage, having grown up in a family of professional musicians,” Haas explained. “I especially love being a woman on the stage. I get to be sultry and sexy and men seem to really enjoy it.”
Haas interprets jazz classics with respect and independent vision. These are not paint-by-numbers remakes. Haas fuels each of the tracks with her own vibrant personality. “Slap That Bass/Hit Me With a Hot Note” is brimming with giddy sensuality, and Haas is obviously having a ball with the double entendres in the words.
Haas’ latest album, Spasm, has been receiving rave reviews in the jazz press, and Haas gives credit to the notable veterans who graced the CD, including producer Jeffrey Klitz and pianist Tedd Firth. “I feel I have been blessed with the musical arrangers and musicians who played on my CD. I was very lucky to be connected with Jeffrey Klitz several years ago. He is a fabulous pianist and creative arranger, and we have worked very closely to develop arrangements that we both feel will work with my musical interpretation and storytelling,” Haas said. “I was introduced to the fabulous Tedd Firth (piano/arranger) through Paul Beaudry. When Tedd said he would be interested in working with me, I was thrilled because he is one of the best music arrangers and pianists in the business.”
The Westchester-raised singer also incorporates comedy in her live show as well. “When performing live, much of my humor falls into the banter that leads into the songs,” Haas stated. “It's wonderful to hear people respond positively, with laughter, to the stories I tell on the stage.”
Alysa Haas Jazz Cabaret
Thursday, Sept 4, 8-11 p.m.
31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY.