In a sold-out concert at the MusicalFare Premier Cabaret Lounge, jazz pianist and vocalist Carol Welsman brought the audience to its feet for standing ovations with her engaging selection of jazz standards, Brazilian music, and arranged pop classics.
Welsman is extraordinary in her ability to connect with and engage the audience. She establishes a rapport immediately and shares stories throughout. For many in the audience, it must have felt like Carol was in their living room. An entertaining guest who made for a memorable and enjoyable evening.
Her selection of songs spanned the nine-plus CD releases she has had over the years. Opening each of the two sets with solo renditions before inviting jazz guitarist Eric Johnson and bassist Don Wasson to the stage. The concert opened with her beautiful version of “Skylark.” Immediately riveting and endearing the crowd to her stellar voice.
An audience favorite was her arrangement of “Cheek To Cheek.” Asking the audience to participate in the song by singing the three refrains of “I’m in heaven.” And, the audience loved it!
The audience responded heartily to her stories and background for her “I Like Men.” A tribute to Peggy Lee and shared stories of meeting Lee’s granddaughter and discussing songs that were special to Peggy Lee.
There were many special moments throughout the concert. Personal favorites included her simple yet emotional version of the Carpenter’s hit, “Close To You.” She also displayed her multi-lingual skills with a spectacular rendition of “Besame Mucho” in its native language. Welsman talked about her love for Brazilian music and sprinkled in a few bossa nova tunes. Eric Johnson also provided a memorable moment when he left the stage and walked amongst the audience during a soloing on one tune.
In the end, Welsman delivered an engaging and fun concert for the sold-out audience. You could not help leaving as if you picked up a new friend who shared stores that made you laugh, smile, and cry. Performing on the piano and vocals at a star-level that embodies her career as a 6-times Juno Awards Nominee.
Many audience members waited for the chance to meet and talk with her. All expressed a wish for her to return again to Buffalo. The sold-out audience most certainly would agree unanimously that this would be most welcomed.
(The collaboration between MusicalFare Theater and JazzBuffalo has produced several memorable events. Including this concert. A Big Thank You to Randy Kramer, Chris Cavanaugh, and the great caring staff of servers and volunteers who provide us all with a wonderful experience.)
(JazzBuffalo contributor, photographer Jack Zuff, once again captures beautifully the essence of a wonderful evening of music. Enjoy the gallery of superlative photos.)