By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Tonight, November 28th, American singer Alexandra Jackson performs at the renowned jazz house Blue Note Rio, in Lagoa, at 8PM. The show promotes Jackson’s debut EP, “Legacy & Alchemy”, which will be officially released this Friday, December 1st.
Defined as a Brazilian-American “total music” work, “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” presents a genre-blending of diverse musical cultures, from Brazilian samba, forró, bossa nova and Carioca funk to Earth, Wind & Fire’s and Quincy Jones’ sounds.
The EP is the result of a three-year project, which was produced by music industry veteran Robert Hebert, who owns the rights to Tom Jobim’s “The Girl from Ipanema”, and Larry Williams, a Grammy-nominated producer, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist who has already worked with names like George Benson and Michael Jackson.
“There’s a huge melting pot of music in our world today. This album offers the opportunity for people to step outside the box. It’s not just jazz, not the blues, not soul, not bossa nova, not samba, but it’s a mix of them all”, says the Atlanta-based singer, who performed in the Hebert’s “Bossa Nova Noites” project during the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Composed of fifteen tracks, and sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English, “Legacy & Alchemy” was recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, London, New York and Atlanta. Aimed at blending diverse musical references and turning it into a brand new product, the album brings authentic versions of classics like “Brazilica”, which was originally recorded in 1976 by Chicago legend Ramsey Lewis, and Tom Jobim’s “Girl From Ipanema”, from 1963.
“This project is a bridge between past and present, bringing a fusion of old school legends with the voice of an angel: Alexandra Jackson”, says Amber Johnston, Australian expatriate who represents Alchemy Marketing, company responsible for promoting the new EP.
Even though the full album of “Legacy & Alchemy” is only planned to be released in March 2018, Jackson’s six-song EP can already be found on streaming services. The single “Brazilica” debuted on the American smooth jazz charts last week as is already the first most added song in platforms like Groove Jazz Music and Radio Wave Internet Airplay Chart.
“The album embraces the legacy of Brazilian music (not just Bossa Nova) and creates popular music through an alchemy that involves American music that is heavily influenced by Chicago-bases R&B, Blues, Soul and Jazz”, says Hebert. According to the producer, the album consisted of a joint collaboration effort of some of the world’s greatest artists, including Carlinhos Brown, Darryl Jones and members of the group Earth, Wind and Fire.
“Robert took us through a lot of different stages”, says Jackson. “With all the different collaborators, the project took on a life of its own. I didn’t see it coming. When I started, I was excited to put out an album singing the music I love. No one but Robert and Larry (Williams) could have known that it would turn into this. But I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason”.
Owner of a spirited voice, Alexandra Jackson’s musical background includes the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program and a performance at the Atlanta Jazz Festival as the opener for Me’shell Ndegeocello. Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Celia Cruz and The Blind Boys of Alabama are some of the artists that inspired Jackson’s career.
Taking place at the Blue Note Rio, at 8PM, tonight’s show includes the special participation of samba singer and musician Pretinho da Serrinha.
What: Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy
When: Tonight, November 28th – 8PM
Where: Blue Note Rio – Avenida Borges de Medeiros, 1424 – Lagoa – Tel: (21) 3799-2500