Luisa Annibali – A Whirlwind of Warm Energy, Passion, and Presence

Luisa Annibali and her Band will be playing live at The Cobblestone on Friday, July 29th. Luisa is a jazz artist who plays regularly with many other jazz musicians; her ensemble for Friday’s show is comprised of international musicians (including two Irishmen). Their set will feature all original compositions by Luisa and her long-time guitarist and friend, Jonathon Batista.

To see Luisa Annibali in person is to be swept up by a whirlwind of warm energy, passion, and presence. The Italian singer and long-time Dublin resident seems to embody that intangible thing that is her life-love: Jazz. Combining musical elements from all over the world, she is determined to bring jazz, in all of its forms, to the forefront of the Dublin music scene.

Luisa’s earliest memory of music is singing with her mom in the car as a young kid. She has been singing as far back as she can remember. “The first time I [sang] in front of an audience I was two years old,” she recounted. She began playing the piano at 7 years old, eventually picking up the guitar when she was older. “A guitar is easier to bring with you everywhere,” she joked, “it’s easier to be social.”

At first her path didn’t seem like it would take her on the route to become a musician – she studied law as a university student, later becoming a fully fledged lawyer who intended to work with musicians. But just working with musicians wasn’t what she really wanted, and eventually left her practice as a lawyer to be a full-time musician.

I did my thesis on copyright law. I was thinking I could work copyrighting for musicians…but it didn’t mean that I was going to do music, which is what I love. It was tough, but I had the support of my family…they supported me when they decided to change my career.

Luisa attended DCU for her formal musical education, which is where she delved fully into jazz. American soul music was her first musical love and inspiration, which later expanded to include the great American jazz singers, like Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. What she loved about jazz in particular though, was its capacity for reinvention. Her own music reflects that sentiment, combining elements of classical jazz, different types of Brazilian music, and neo soul – for Luisa, jazz is “the medium between [genres].”

She has been composing original compositions for years now, often in collaboration with her long-time guitarist and collaborator, Jonathon Battista. Luisa is also in several ensembles (including an old-time swing band); was recently accepted into The Dublin Jazz Co-op; and has an EP coming out at the end of August. Her long term goal, however, is to increase the popularity of jazz in Dublin. “We are trying to create more opportunities for the jazz scene, there’s no jazz scene in Dublin…not even a jazz club!” she lamented. “Irish society is so connected to music…it’s not that people don’t like [jazz], they’re just not exposed to it.”

What is perhaps one of the most alluring things about Luisa is that her love of the art form is so purely evident that it makes you want to love jazz as well. “What is jazz?” she asked. “Jazz means so many things…’as long as there is improvisation there is jazz’”, she said, quoting an old music teacher. “I’m not the person to say what jazz is…but I know that it’s something that lives in the present moment.” Listen to her speak for only a minute about jazz and suddenly you hear it everywhere…the best part is, you’ll find that you’ve fallen in love!

This event is co-sponsored by Babylon Radio and the Dublin Jazz Co-op and features Luisa Annibali’s Band, Rufina Trishina’s Trio, and Jennifer McMahon. Tickets for the event can be purchased at EventBrite.com; curtains go up at 8 p.m.

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Maura Corkery

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