Most people don’t associate jazz vocalists with improvisation, but for Victoria’s Carol Sokoloff, that’s how she creates music.
The singer and songwriter is one of the only jazz vocalists to improvise in Victoria and she’s bringing her talent to Hermann’s Jazz Club this week.
“It’s nice for jazz vocalists to also be jazz artists, which includes feeling free to improvise,” said Sokoloff, adding she does scatting as part of her improvisation. “You imitate an instrument and do a vocal improvisation. You’re becoming another horn, basically.”
Sokoloff has always had a passion for jazz.
She originally studied jazz piano, but continued to sing and write songs on the side. She didn’t make as much progress as she had hoped on the piano and realized singing was her true calling.
After attending a jazz workshop at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Port Townsend, she began paying her dues playing in the Superior Cafe, Hotel Rialto, Centennial Square and the Oswego Hotel.
“It’s really a thrill to make music with fabulous musicians and to engage with an audience to see them enjoying the music and to enjoy it myself,” she said. “To take songs that are old and make them fresh and to introduce new songs that people can instantly enjoy is great.”
Now she focuses on putting her own new spin on the well-loved standards, popular songs from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, from the American songbook.
She dabbles with songs such as Ain’t Misbehaving, Blue Skies, Blues in the Night, Come Rain or Come Shine, Fly Me to the Moon and Jeepers Creepers.
Sokoloff also writes her own original songs by incorporating some of the old standard elements and making them fresh.
Sokoloff, backed by the Trio Espresso featuring Kenny Seidman on piano, Victoria Symphony bass player Alex Olsen and drummer David Emery, will perform at the jazz club on Wednesday, Nov. 4 beginning at 8 p.m. tickets are $15.