Yaala Ballin is an Israeli jazz vocalist who emigrated to the U.S. to pursue her dream.Began her jazz career in high school after being selected to participate in master classes with Max Roach,James Moody and Benny Golson.
In addition to frequent performances in the city’s prestigious jazz venues including Smalls, Smoke and Birdland, she has also toured in Europe and the former Soviet Union, and has been a featured artist in international jazz festivals in Israel.
Hello Yaala, nice to have you host Radio Web Italia!
From your debut album to date as you are changed?
I believe that one of the most beautiful things about being an artist is that you always change. You always have new ideas, learn new things, try and experience them.
I feel that my debut album, Travlin’ Alone (Smalls Records) was a perfect presentation of where I was then. Since then I was very fortunate to keep singing with this band in NY and abroad.
There’s a big advantage in working with the same band. You start to feel more comfortable, you grow together.
I got so familiar with their music and personality that at this point, when I sing with them, I can really be myself.
Can you describe your latest album, titled “On The Road”, to the public of Radio Web Italia?
My latest album (with Gallery Records) was recorded, as it was titled, On The Road.
In 2010 I became part of the Jazz Futures – Bi Communal Program in Cyprus (Sponsored by the US Department of State).
The program, now in its 4th year, uses jazz as a tool to bring both sides of the island, Greek and Turkish, together. Each visit consist of 5 days where we teach for about 4 hours and perform every night on a different side of the island.
In October 2010, I decided to take advantage of this beautiful opportunity and record.
The band, being playing together for 5 days in a row, sounds to united. It is a connection, a feeling you cannot create any other way.
The record includes some jazz standards from the Great American Songbook such as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and Cole Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye” as well as some blues inspired by jazz divas Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday.
What will be the immediate development of your business?
My music is growing, evolving. The chemistry that I am creating with my band, and with my fan base are vital blood for my growth. We are focusing on live sets, because our fans deserve that, and at the same time we are working on the next album with Gallery Records. So everything is immediate, and at the same time is evolving.
And those of jazz in general?
Jazz music is an art form that doesn’t stop developing. Throughout the history of jazz we see and hear different styles evolve all the time; from rag time to New Orleans to Swing to be-bop etc. In recent years, jazz has developed in different directions and got a new flavor to it. Jazz today can be considered fusion music with combinations of Arab music, Brazilian music, Rock n’ Roll and more….
To me, jazz is a beat – Swing! Music that was created for dancing. Besides that, I feel that the most important thing to me is lyrics; I love to tell a story. Fortunately, the jazz repertoire is full of beautiful, special songs for me to explore.
What does mean being a Jazz Ambassador?
Being a Jazz Ambassador means to bring jazz, as an American art form, to different parts of the world. Ever since the beginning of jazz it was known as a form of art which brings people together.
It is a language that passes beyond color, religion, race, sax etc.
As a Jazz Ambassador we use the power of the music to bring people together. The proses of creating music together, learning, listening, is deeper than any difference we think we have.
What about your plans for the 2012?
My plans for 2012 is to travel with my band and perform as much as possible.
We are scheduled to be in Austria in the winter with performances around Vienna. Also, we are planned to be back for another tour in Italy in the summer with performances in Milan, Bologna and Rome.
And to release a new album with Gallery Records. I am closely working with Simone Tarantino so we can plan all the releases, the promotion and the live sets. And of course, Gallery Records is pushing for having me perform at Jazz Festivals alla round the world.
It’s time to say bye.. I leave to you the last word …
Our world is changing so quickly. Technology is taking a big place in our lives; iPads, iPods, youtube. It seems that everything is becoming easy to get and easy to do.
I would like people to not forget the importance of live music, whatever style it might be.
The special connection you get with the band, the way they make you feel. It’s a great way to get away from the every-day-life.
Please keep supporting live music and the artists that are there for you!
Ciao to you and all Radio Web Italia listeners!
Nota Redazionale: Si ringrazia Simone Tarantino della Gallery Records per aver presentato allanostra emittente radiofonica la meravigliosa voce diYaala Ballin.