‘I am a storyteller. My tool is singing,’
says Nikoletta Szőke, referring to the fact that theatrical elements often play a prominent role in her concerts. The winner of the Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, holder of the Junior Prima Prize and one of the country’s most popular jazz singers will be performing a large-scale production of the most popular theme songs from Hollywood movies of half a century. Her own jazz quartet is joined by Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra led by Gábor Hollerung, and the star guest of the evening is Bálint Gájer, the Hungarian “prince of swing”.
During her career of unbroken success, Nikoletta Szőke has performed in New York and Tokyo, as well as in many European countries, and has appeared on stage with stars such as Bobby McFerrin and Michel Legrand. This time, with Gábor Hollerung as musical director, the concert programme will be an overview of the productions of the legendary Hollywood film industry from the 1920s to the 1970s in a large-scale symphonic orchestration specially created for the occasion. The theme songs from films such as Moon River, Cabaret, I Will Wait for You, Singing in the Rain and The Way We Were will be performed. In between the songs, short orchestral pieces and video clips will evoke the atmosphere of the cinemas of yesteryear and the many links between jazz and film. Although the concert promises to be spectacular, Nikoletta Szőke emphasises, ‘what interests me in music is not the technical realisation and the puffery, but the richness of the message and the means of expression.’