by: Brent Black
An admitted “language geek” fluent in French, Spanish and Italian – just for starters. Hadar is a unique and incredibly intriguing hybrid of say cosmopolitan jazz with some delightful world flavor but is driven by pop, funk, Latin and the international cabaret singer. Last time I checked out someone claiming “cabaret” as an influence the results were not even as close to the extreme talent and delightfully entertaining release Hadar pulls off with Like A Bridge… Hadar’s band is Twist which naturally pays homage to the cultural diversity the collective brings to the table. While her stated objective is to create world unity through music one audience at a time, she takes the non-polarizing approach by letting the politicians handle politics and the musicians handle the music. The eclectic influences that permeate her sound include experiences in places as diverse as Bali, Russia, Switzerland, and Japan just to hit the high notes which I might add Hadar does with ease.
An effervescent swing, a dynamite range with passionate phrasing, Hadar is nothing if not the consummate entertainer. Recorded live in the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley California finds Hadar and her first call band of international talent with an innate gift of swing and the ability to reinvent tunes without disrespecting the originals or themselves. A more world music vibe on “Bridge Over Troubled Water” comes off effortlessly and without some of the more obvious pitfalls a lesser artist could find themselves hitting. One of the better tunes is the classic cover of the Bobby Darin tune “Beyond The Sea” but given a slightly more French twist with jazz accordion adding a delightful texture and stellar reinvention of a timeless classic. “Child Of Man” features the Israeli-born, American bred singer-songwriter Noa. This joyous celebration steeped in the global percussionist work of Ian Dogole on the udu is sheer perfection. Only the last line is in Hebrew, “I wish I were a flower or a tree.”
Lately I tend to shy away from the global oriented one world sonic philosophy that certain artists attempt to bring to the table simply in an effort to make a quick buck. Lua Hadar is different as she is the musical and cultural by product of her own experience and is simply attempting to share that with the world. What we do with our experience is up to us. A breath of fresh air at a time the world in general and music specifically are in dire need.
A true winner!
Tracks: Bridge Over Troubled Water; Beyond The Sea; Raha Mbola Misy; San Francisco; Child Of Man; Imagina; Sukiyaki/Ue O Muite Aruko; Ojala Que Llueva Cafe; Isfahan; Stregata Dall’amore/Ravel’s Bolero.
Lua Hadar: multilingual vocals; Jason Martineau: piano, music director, arranger; Dan Feiszli: acoustic & electric bass; Celso Alberti: drums; Ian Dogole: udu, dumbek, shakers, cajon; Larry De La Cruz: alto, tenor, soprano sax & flute.
Special guests: Dave Miotke; Emil Miland & Fumiko Ozawa.
LUA HADAR BIO
Lua Hadar is a multi-lingual vocalist and actor, a teaching artist and an independent producer. She has a lifelong commitment to cultural exchange and has been inspired by collaborations in Bali, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Switzerland and Thailand. The mission of her band, Twist, is to give audiences a sense of their common humanity.
Lua has performed as a singer and actor since her New York childhood. Graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Performance, Lua attended the celebrated Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and The Dalcroze School of Music, also studying with Metropolitan Opera coach, Joan Dornemann. She also holds teaching credentials and an M.A. in Education.
Lua Hadar sings her own brand of cosmopolitan jazz influenced by pop, funk, folk, Latin and international cabaret. Instantly accessible and truly exotic, she has been molded by diverse international experiences. Her fascination with world cultures is reflected in the sophisticated song choices for her band, Twist.
Hadar has charmed audiences from New York's Iridium Jazz Club to Bangkok's Thailand Cultural Center to the Swan Bar in Paris. She has performed numerous times at San Francisco's legendary Fairmont Hotel, as well as The Plush Room, The Rrazz Room, Jazz at Pearl's, Society Cabaret at Hotel Rex, Yoshi's Jazz Club and Feinstein's at the Nikko. In addition to the Iridium, New York audiences have welcomed her home at Somethin' Jazz Club and the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village.
Lua performed in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and North America during her 5-year residency as an actor and singer with two Italian theater companies. She has been an Italophile since she can remember, living in Italy several years while touring as a performer, becoming fluent in the language and falling in love with all things Italian.
Hadar delivers Master Classes in interpretation and style on The Great American Songbook, part of her heritage as a native New Yorker and daughter of a musician. Her San Francisco-based Studio NPG has offered professional development for performing artists and salon concerts and events for the community, featuring teaching artists such as Broadway-TV-film star, Faith Prince, among others.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE http://luahadar.com
Like A Bridge Website and Blog: likeabridge.net
Lua’s Voyager Project https://luahadarvoyager.wordpress.com