GlobalFest is a three-ring circus of world music that takes place concurrent with the mighty APAP conference. It's been gaining in popularity, and the dense crowds that descended on Webster Hall for the 2012 edition had me running up from the two lower performance spaces and up several flights of stairs to the Ballroom balcony to get a decent sight line for my video. I got there for the tail end of Yemen Blues -- excellent as always -- and managed to find a decent vantage point for Zaz.
I'm so glad I did. It's not often that you see a performance and think to yourself: "This lady has it all." But Zaz does. She's attractive, she's got a terrific voice ( a little Adele-like in registration, with a Piaf-like vibrato), a vocal style that's all her own, and she obviously enjoys herself on stage and shares the fun with her audience. Her niche (for now) is funky gypsy-jazz inflected chanson. But really the woman can sing just about anything. In her bio she cites African, Arab, Andalusian, Brazilian and Latino influences along with her French roots. What this all makes for is a creative, relaxed musician who comfortably mixes it up with her first-rate backup band and whose voice takes her anywhere she wants to go. Where that is, only Zaz knows.
I dropped by DROM a few days later to shoot the stunning a cappella show by Serbian folk singer Svetlana Spajic, and Serdar Ilhan at the club's owner waxed rhapsodic about how Zaz had packed his club two nights in a row so much that he had to turn people away. He was blissed, as I'm sure his audience was on that night. Zaz is by now touring distant international capitals and packing them in there too, I imagine.
Look out for this one.
For more information on Zaz, visit: http://www.zazofficial.com/us.
For more of Michal's original world music videos, visit http://inter-muse.com.