Moses gets the party started at Akbank Jazz Festival
Jazz sensation China Moses has kicked off the 24th Akbank Jazz Festival in style, treating fans in Istanbul to her multi-layered talents.China Moses is an American jazz singer who grew up in Paris with a warm and friendly attitude, just like her jazz diva mother, Dee Dee Bridgewater. Moses not only has a beautiful voice but is also a multitalented jazz singer with a sharp sense of humor and a big heart.
Audiences at the 24th Akbank Jazz Festival were treated to a beautiful start with her on the opening night of this year’s event. Moses, who is a fan of rock as well as jazz, was a great performer as well as a particularly personable interviewee.
One of her songs was a tribute to the legendary Dinah Washington in 2009. “I was only 10 years old when I first discovered Dinah Washington records at my grandmother’s home and, of course, my grandmother was not that happy with me listening to those lyrics at that age,” she said.
When I asked what the main influence from it was, she said, “Her seven husbands,” before adding: “I love the passion she put in her songs and I love her attitude as a woman.”
The daughter of the late Gilbert Moses, director of the famous TV series “The Roots,” China Moses was born into show business and her instinctual talents give her a playful demeanor on stage.
Having grown up in Paris, there’s an obvious European attitude to her artistic approach and her singing.
“I guess if I had grown up in America, I would have only cared about my vocal capacities but in France, you learn to appreciate the lyrics and attitude of the singer as well. Of course we all know beautiful voices like Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, but they also appreciate singers with a different energy like Jane Birkin for instance; I love her energy, too,” she said.
Like her mother, Moses is energetic on stage; the singer also said she inherited her mother’s love of musicians, as well as her curiosity and communication on stage. “We are like a family, my band,” she said.
Moses is a multitalented singer who was also an MTV VJ for a while. When asked about her favorite current songs on the charts, she started to sing the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Number One “All about that bass.”
She also mentioned Lana Del Rey as one of her favorites. “I love Lana Del Rey, but she’s not a concert singer, which I think is not a bad thing. She is a studio singer, and she really has attitude. I love her songs too,” she said, adding that she had always loved powerful voices like rock star Alanis Morissette.
Finally, she said she loved the food in Istanbul but also noted how the city’s cultural heritage provided inspiration.
The Akbank Jazz Festival will continue until Nov. 2 at venues around the city. In tonight’s lineup, Jamie Cullum will play at the Zorlu Center at 8:30 p.m., while Akbank Sanat will welcome “Jazztopad Festival presents: Obara International.” Elsewhere, at Babylon in Beyoğlu’s Asmalımescit neighborhood, there will be a performance by Jungle By Night,” while Moda Sahnesi in Kadıköy will play host to Yasmine Hamdan.