This year's Brisbane Vocal Jazz Festival welcomes Sydney-based singer, saxophonist and bandleader Nic Jeffries for an intimate performance alongside his good friend Nina Ferro.
Both Nic and Nina will be at the helm of their respective bands presenting carefully curated sets of 'Soulful & Swinging' sounds, from original material to classic covers and standards. “What people may or may not know is that Nina and I were both on the 2016 season of 'The Voice' together,” Nic says.
“We ended up being paired off against each other in a battle and it was far from a battle for us, we became really close friends afterwards. We've performed together in Melbourne since then, so this for us is a way to come back together and perform again.
“Both Nina and I have this love for a wide range of music, between soul and jazz, so we'll both be presenting music from our records and just songs that we love, which is really exciting.”
Prior to his appearance on 'The Voice', Nic was already an established singer and had previously released his own album in 2011. For Brisbane Vocal Jazz Festival, Nic has selected some of his own original compositions as well as various arrangements of soul and jazz classics.
“I do a lot of arrangements of Stevie Wonder's music, I love Stevie's music so I'll definitely be doing some stuff of his that I recorded on my album,” he says.
“I've got some original material that I've written over the past few years that I'll probably play in the set as well, not to mention some selections from the American Songbook. I'm into such a wide range of music and I'm always excited to present songs that I like, that I connect with so I can best present them to the audience.”
As well as individual sets, Nic says he and Nina also have some special plans to perform together for the first time in over a year and a half. “On the night the plan is I'm playing first and then Nina's band goes on after I do it, and I think we are definitely going to do some things together; we've already discussed that so it is a surprise for audiences on the night what we sing together.”
Nic is also an accomplished saxophonist and says audiences can expect his other instrument to make an appearance at Brisbane Vocal Jazz Festival. “I'm going to bring the saxophone, it comes with me everywhere,” he laughs.
“I think of the saxophone and the voice as being so closely linked to each other; the saxophone is a vocalised instrument and all any great saxophone or trumpet player is trying to do is emulate the human voice. I consider myself very lucky that I get to do both.”
With his last album being released nearly eight years ago, Nic says his next project will be a follow-up record he is hoping to release before the year is out. “I'm really keen to work on an American Songbook album, a standards album,” he says.
“I didn't really do that in the first album, it was a bit more of a soul-jazz record... Hopefully we can get that done before the end of this year.”