A Tribute to Silje Nergaard
Last week a new musical project went almost unnoticed through three of the best places for live jazz music in Sofia. The dates were January 9, 12 and 13 in respectively Dada Cultural Bar, Studio 5 and The Book. I was to the one in Studio 5 on Jan.12. It turned out that the same project had been presented several times in November, but somehow it didn’t fall into my sight.
Why did this project attract my curiosity? First of all, it was a tribute to Silje Nergaard. People who know me well will immediately guess right – if there is a Scandinavian jazz musician involved, I’ll be there. Second, the names Milena Ivanova (voice) and Georgi Trendafilov (piano) didn’t speak to me anything. What a shame! There shouldn’t be Bulgarian jazz musicians whom I don’t know 😲! And I was right – Milena Ivanova and Georgi Trendafilov are basically not jazz musicians, and I was even left with the impression that they didn’t consider Silje Nergaard as a jazz singer, but more a pop one.
We all know how many different music styles we name as jazz, and how vague are the borders between them. In many cases, we use combined names and adjectives to specify the type of jazz, such as jazz-pop, acid jazz, bossa nova (which is a crossover of samba and jazz), smooth jazz, cool jazz, straight-ahead and many others. There are numberless variations of jazz and other music styles that can fall into the general category of jazz, including R&B, soul, blues, swing and even gospel music. That’s why I’ll write here in my blog about all the styles that make me feel happy and jazzy no matter how they call them.
Anyway, Silje Nergaard is a jazz singer or more precisely a jazz-pop one. She is one of the best selling and most awarded Norwegen jazz artists. She became worldwide famous after the release of the international bestseller Tell Me Where You’re Going featuring my favourite guitar player Pat Metheny. Silje Nergaard recorded and performed songs with the greats Al Jarreau and Toots Thielemans. I am not going to recount her biography. One can find it here or in Spotify or many other places.
Something that impressed me a lot was how highly appreciated and loved was Silje Nergaard in Japan. Her first hit single Tell Me Where You’re Going had made it to No.1 in the Land of the Rising Sun. And no wonder, her delicate way of singing, her articulation of the words and clear music phrases recall the perfection of the Japanese gardens. Especially the songs in Norwegian are gentle like dew on the buds of roses and soft like goose feathers. These Scandinavian song words touch some deeply hidden nooks in my soul. I love them! ❤️
Going back to Milena Ivanova and Georgi Trendafilov’s concert I remember the intimate atmosphere they created for us. With their project, they revealed the subtle and tender music world of Silje Nergaard, and I sincerely hope they’ll continue to perform it in future again.
Good luck Milena and Georgi! 🎤 🎹 🍀