Vocalist-guitarist Dino Jag and singer Gail Page join forces to present a celebration of classic soul music, tracing the influential style all the way back to its roots in gospel songs. “'Songs In The Key Of Soul' really is an opportunity for people like myself as artists who write their own music to celebrate the music live that's influenced many of us,” Dino explains.
“I know myself as a singer growing up being heavily influenced by singers like Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Prince and a lot of the grassroots soul music is embedded in my DNA and certainly influenced my energy as a performer and songwriter.
“It's a great opportunity to get on stage, celebrate a lot of the songs that started out of the gospel era with artist like Ray Charles, Al Green, Etta James; they all came from that gospel era and introduced soul music to the world.”
Dino is an international award-winning singer-songwriter who released his 'Breakthrough' EP last November. While Gail has won three Chain awards and appeared as a contestant on 'The Voice' in 2015.
Dino says that when it came to picking a performance partner, Gail was his first choice. “Whenever I heard her sing, my ears gravitated to her sensational voice and she was the first person I thought of when I was thinking of sharing the stage with someone in this style of show,” he says.
“I'm really excited about the opportunity to be sharing the stage with Gail.”
This will be the first time the two musicians will perform together live and they will be backed by a powerhouse band. “We're excited about the opportunity to bring some of the arrangements together in a new way,” Dino says, “where we're turning some of the stuff into duets that normally wouldn't be presented that way. So we're breathing new life into some of the songs people may have heard before.”
Dino fondly recalls falling in love with gospel and soul music as a child, watching video clips and admiring the authenticity of the performances. “Film clips were pretty new and seeing artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson come on to the screen. Whenever I heard those guys with that kind of background bringing that energy to the table, it aways sucked me in somehow.
“There was something that connected with me on a deeper level and I gravitated towards that kind of energy. Growing up, as I became more involved in music I realised it wasn't so much the style of music, it was the integrity behind the performances that I was always interested in.”
For Dino, soul music represents a deeper connection between artist and song that still runs through the music of modern, popular artists such as Alicia Keys, Adele and Ed Sheeran. “'Songs In The Key Of Soul' isn't just about what people would consider to be the old-school soul music, it's really about the feeling,” he says.
“It's about the energy, the commitment to the performance and the passion; everything that represented the early kind of music where it came out of hardship, but there was a certain honesty about the performance.”
'Songs In The Key Of Soul' takes place as part of Umbrella: Winter City Sounds in Adelaide at Arkaba Hotel 14 July. Dino Jag also plays Norwood Hotel (Adelaide) 24 June and Ding Dong Lounge (Melbourne) 30 June.