One of the most loved musical events happening in the capital of the United Kingdom, the glorious London Jazz Festival that this year marks its 25th years, since it started, couldn't end in a more spectacular way than welcoming the young American prodigy Jazz singer Añais Reno as the Festival's closing act.
Añais Reno - Live At London Jazz Festival - 19th November 2023
- Written by: Giovanni "Gio" Pilato
At the tender age of 19, Reno has already largely impressed the enormous Jazz community in the United States and beyond with her talent and incredible vocal skills, thanks also through her 2020's debut album called Lovesome Thing: Añais Reno sings Ellington & Strayhorn, a record that has landed to the young Jazz singer numerous accolades from the worldwide music press and Jazz lovers.
With a forthcoming new live album recorded, coincidentally, in the UK capital earlier this year and due to be released in the first few months of 2024, there is a lot of expectations from the crowd present here tonight at the elegant Pizza Express Live venue in Soho, London, expectations that will be soon fulfilled the moment that Reno arrived on stage, at 8pm, for the first of her two live sets, opening with a splendid rendition of I'm Beginning To See The Light, written by one of Reno's biggest Jazz inspirations, which is Duke Ellington.
Accompanied on stage by Jazz pianist, composer and educator Pete Malinverni plus a drummer and a double bass player, Reno, armed with such natural talent and a vocal strength able to hypnotise the whole crowd every time she delivers a new song, will charme and excite the many fans present tonight through a very well calibrated setlist that enhanced perfectly Reno's exceptional vocal skills throughout the whole show.
The first of the two sets gifts the audience with real Jazz gems, like Nat King Cole's Tis Autumn, for example, or Bill Henderson's Wild Is Love and the fun-filled Cole Porter's It's De-Lovely, among others.
In all this, Añais Reno displays such an imposing stage presence and a remarkable confidence (amply justified), as a performer and the crowd can really perceive the fact that they are witnessing the rise of a music star at every point of this exciting show.
Reno's second set, after a brief pause, is equally stunning and most of the performances truly mesmerising, including a sublime evergreen, like Jobim's Waters Of March, Ella Fitzgerald's Whisper Not and the very first song written by Añais Reno called The Divine One, sublimely delivered by a naturally gifted artist that seems to really enjoy tonight’s performance.
Delighting, enchanting and enormously talented. Añais Reno was the most shining light that the London Jazz Festival needed to close a marvelous 2023 edition in great style.