Amber Epp will sing with Trio Bembe at Festival du Voyageur (Jazz Winnipeg)
Amber Epp is a Valentine's baby, turning 26, she's getting ready to
celebrate her birthday with a big Latin party at Festival du Voyageur on
So she's also busy learning French phrases because this is her first Festival du Voyageur performance with Latin group Trio Bembe. She's also keeping busy arranging a bunch of Joni Mitchell tunes for a concert at the end of March.
SCENE thought we'd find out how this Mennonite from Steinbach got into Latin and jazz music by getting our hands on her Playlist.
"Mack the Knife" by Ella Fitzgerald
Ella was the first female jazz singer I ever heard, and she's still my favourite. I love that I can hear her smile when she sings. This lady sure knew how to have fun. She did this concert in Berlin, and forgot the words to the song, so she makes some up on the spot - brilliant!
"Águas de marco" (Waters of March) by Tom Jobim & Elis Regina
Tom Jobim was the first Brazilian musician I ever heard, and he still amazes me - he wrote most of the Brazilian songs you've ever heard, including "Girl from Ipanema".
Elis Regina is my favorite Brazilian singer. I even brought a picture of her to the hairdresser when I cut my hair super short for the first time. I love this video because Tom & Elis are having so much fun - they bring so much joy to the music, which is what I love to do as well.
"Bom Feeling" by Sara Tavares
Sara Tavares plays my favorite 'feel-good' music. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I put on her album, and feel better in a second.
She's from Cape Verde (Portugal), with African roots, so her music is very rhythmic, but has that soft Portuguese lilt that makes it the perfect balance.
"Little Green" by Joni Mitchell
I discovered Joni Mitchell's album Blue a few years ago, and I still listen to it at least once a month. I love the tune "Little Green," which she wrote about her daughter. She had to hide her pregnancy, and put her daughter up for adoption.
Even though I can't relate to the story of this song, there's something about it that pulls me in.
"Permiso que llego van van" by Los Van Van
My favorite Cuban salsa band is Los Van Van ("The Go-Gos" is the closest English equivalent). They won a Grammy for this record, and I love the title: Excuse me, but Van Van has arrived!
Every song they play is super-groovy, their tunes are catchy, and they set the bar for salsa/timba music around the world. I got to see them live a couple times in Cuba when I lived there a few years ago.
Amber Epp's birthday celebration is at Festival du Voyageur with Trio Bembe on Feb 23. Bring cake. And catch her Joni Mitchell show on March 31 at the Park Theatre.