Friday, August 23rd 8:30pm - 10:15pm
The Main Stage
Italian-born Roberta Gambarini is, without question, one of the most accomplished jazz singers on the current scene. Her warm, velvety tone and captivating eloquence inspired the Boston Globe to call Gambarini “a true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae.”
Born in Turin, Italy, Gambarini received her first exposure to jazz at an early age when her father, an amateur tenor saxophonist, took her to concerts by Dexter Gordon, Benny Carter, Johnny Griffin & Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, as well as Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras. The music took hold, and she’s since graced the stage and the studio with such legends as Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Jimmy Heath, Johnny Griffin, Ron Carter, Curtis Fuller, Chucho Valdés, Roy Hargrove, James Moody and Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, among others.
Gambarini began performing in the north of Italy at age 17 and moved to the United States in 1998, having won a scholarship to attend an artist-in-residence program at Boston’s New England Conservatory. Two weeks after her arrival, she finished third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition, just behind Teri Thornton and Jane Monheit. The honor gave her the confidence to move to New York, where she founded her own Groovin’ High label. Her first two releases on the label, Easy to Love and So In Love, both earned Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album, placing Gambarini in the company of Diana Krall and Nancy Wilson.