A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
I’ve said it before. Being the host of the Friday at the Ford concerts at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library is one of the unexpected pleasures of my job. In the process of hiring acts for the five-times-a-year music series, I meet a lot of nice people. I also get to hear a lot of great music.
Our latest concert featured jazz singer Petra van Nuis (pronounced Paytra van Nouse – which rhymes with mouse) with guitar accompaniment by Andy Brown. Petra, as she is called by most of her publicity, specializes in the American songbook and Brazilian bossa nova works, genres that really pleased 60 listeners at the library. She started with Cole Porter’s “Is It an Earthquake” followed by “Dreamer” by Antonio Carlos Jobin. I recognized these but few others in the first half of the concert. Then she sang “I Won’t Dance” by Jerome Kern and “Mediation, ” another song by Jobin, starting a series of familiar standards. I especially liked how she finished the evening, letting the audience recommend songs for a medley that she and Brown pulled off splendidly.
Petra obviously knows and loves her songs and the era from which they came, and she connects warmly with the audience, who enjoyed her many tempos and moods. She met listeners before the show and discovered the first other Petra she had ever met, other than her Dutch grandmother. With her smooth voice, she calmed and captivated. After the last notes of “You Make Me Feel So Young” ended, many went home with a little more bounce in their steps.
Review by Rick
PS: Our next Friday at the Ford performance will be Friday, January 25 at 7:30pm: Chris Vallillo will be performing on six-string and bottleneck slide guitars and harmonica, singing original, contemporary, and traditional songs that bring to life the history and lifestyles of the Midwest.