Fresh French flavour served

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Katie J White serenades the crowd with her typical vocal focused jazz-roots.
Camera IconKatie J White serenades the crowd with her typical vocal focused jazz-roots.

Veteran Capes performer Katie J White has evolved, bringing us a genuine focus on emotive vocals and teaming up with a French band this March.

The West Australian WAMI award-winning singer-songwriter is embarking on a metamorphosis by moving away from original recordings and focusing on jazz standards to create an angelic atmosphere at weddings and private events.

The evolution from roots-folk artist to jazz vocalist was reinforced on a recent tour of the south of France, where White met the virtuoso trio Pastel Royal and joined them for a spontaneous street concert. Pastel Royal are made up of three conservatory- qualified jazz musicians featuring jazz guitar, double bass, and the sultry sounds of the clarinet.

The fortuitous meeting led to combined shows in France and now, a WA tour including shows at Dunsborough Tavern, Caves House Hotel and Settlers Tavern.

White, pictured, said the performance would feature her focus on eloquent vocals, and Pastel Royal’s blend of French music and jazz, bringing some fresh flavours and sounds to locals ears. “When I met these guys on the street in Aix-en-Provence, they were rehearsing for a wedding and after I joined them, people were stopping and loving an English singer with the French music; it just worked,” she said.

“That’s the beauty of music; even if you don’t speak the same language, you have this bridge to one another.”

Jazz standards transcend international barriers, with music enthusiasts appreciating how the simple can be made unique. However, the vocals and lyrics have been difficult for White to learn while providing her trademark emotive style. “I’ve learnt three French songs, which is a feat in itself to sing in a different language, but it’s just great to bring a unique jazz culture to WA country towns,” she said.

The French gypsy jazz trio will be led by Jules Fromonteil on clarinet. White said the instrument was underused and undervalued in modern music.

“It’s a unique and beautiful sounding instrument and Jules is incredible,” she said.

White and Pastel Royal will perform next Saturday at Dunsborough Hotel and Caves House, and next Sunday at Settlers Tavern. Entry is Free.

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