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Rita di Ghent
Friday Jul 30 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
The New York Times calls Rita di Ghent “One of the most interesting singers of the contemporary era”. Catch a chance to get up close and personal with Rita’s trademark jazz poetry and soul-jazz in this intimate concert. “[Rita] paints lyrical pictures with colour and detachment, pulling you in and leaving you wondering.” – EYE Magazine
Rita di Ghent was born in Hamilton, Ontario. When she was a baby, her family moved to Chicago where some of her Mother’s siblings had emigrated to. Rita’s father drove for a living, becoming Louis Amstrong’s chauffeur. He also chauffeured luminaries such as The Beatles, Bill Cosby, and Robert Culp.
Rita’s training began at age three with ballet and tap dancing. Her first big stage show was at 8 years, tap dancing to the music of Ramsay Lewis. Her musical parents got her a clarinet and private teacher around the same time. After years playing clarinet, Rita began playing violin. Through her father’s musical influence, Rita fell in love with and began singing jazz in high school, drawing on childhood memories of her Mother’s ever-constant singing voice.
Rita has become a world-wide artist of note and the inventor of an original jazz genre that she calls Sprawl — a combination of traditional jazz, contemporary urban music, and painterly stories. Her many accolades include a nomination for the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Prix de Jazz for her acclaimed “The Birth of Sprawl”.