Dubai-based singer talks about her passion for jazz

Dubai-based singer talks about her passion for jazz

By Michael Gomes

Published: Sun 16 Oct 2016, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Oct 2016, 7:55 PM


Many singers would give an arm and a leg to be coached by a vocal guru who has trained legends such as Annie Lennox, Shirley Bassey and Patti La Pone. Dubai-based jazz singer Anita Williams has had the privilege of being coached by Glynn Jones. Williams's passion for music took roots at school in Cork, Ireland. But her love affair with jazz actually began when at 13, she got her first Billie Holiday single You've Changed. Since then, the genre has had a major influence on her. Williams also had the distinction of being featured on the front page of The Sunday Times for her performance at the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival. In 2012, she came to Dubai, and ever since then, she has been championing the cause of jazz in the city. We talk to the singer to know more.
How did it all start for you?
I started by focusing on West End and Broadway under Glynn Jones. Four years later, I auditioned for the Dublin Academy of Music and studied under opera coach Veronica. I then joined the TV and radio industry as a presenter, but my passion for jazz got the better of me and I left broadcasting to study jazz improvisation, followed by performances.
How long have you been singing?
Since childhood. You can say I've been singing my entire life!
What style/genre of music do you specialise in?
Jazz, blues, swing and Broadway.
What's on your playlist?
Over the Rainbow (our band's original song), I'm a fool to Love You (Billie Holiday) and Those Big Blue Eyes.
One artiste/band you would give anything to watch in Dubai?
Billy Holiday, but she's no more. There are many talented artists out there I hope to see in Dubai some day.
Nervous, trembling, well prepared. How was it the first time you stepped on stage?
OMG! Nerve wrecking! I still get the jitters every time I step onto stage even now.
A concert that inspired you?
It was La Boehme at The Met Opera, New York, New Year's Eve in 2001.
Which is your go-to place for music in town?
Music Hall at Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah.
A stage you would love to perform?
La Scala, Italy.
If not a musician what would you have been?
A TV or radio presenter.

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