An intimate evening with Jacquie - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 164

An intimate evening with Jacquie by Sam Hollis

Together, vocalist Jacquie Fee and organist Christopher Yeabsley have mastered the balance of smooth jazz balladry and sharp-witted comedy. You can catch the dream team once a month at Ivy Bar and Cabaret, with their next Jazz Night coming up on the 10th of February.

Fee is a gifted songbird who harkens back to the crooners of yesteryear – think Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn – while also taking inspiration from contemporary R&B and hip-hop. She is trained in theatre and jazz and once led local band The Schmohawks.

With Yeabsley accompanying, their monthly Ivy gig plays like a variety show of sorts, an intimate evening combining jazz standards and ballads with comedy songs and lots of audience interaction. Fee says they like to keep the performances “as raw as possible”, leaving room for storytelling, random conversations, and organ solos. Some of those conversations tend to revolve around the music being performed.

“There is often really dated lyrical content in these jazz standards, so those are fun to acknowledge and laugh about together.”

Though aware of their shortcomings, Fee cites the Rat Pack as key inspirations – “they were funny, silly, and big boozers” – along with musical theatre singers, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Midler, and Amy Winehouse – “she was a force”.

Audiences can expect to hear classics like Teach Me Tonight, The Nearness of You, The Masquerade is Over, and Love for Sale. Essentially, Fee says, “anything that is a bit sad or sexy”.

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