01 Apr A Conversation with – Anita Williams
Should you wish to do something a little different this Sunday, check out Anita, Alex and Akyl playing at 101 at The One & Only The Palm on Sunday 5th April from 3pm. This amazing trio also play at 101 every Friday at 101.
101 Jazz Fridays from 3pm to 7pm is the new jazz hotspot in Dubai. This ultra-chic indoor-outdoor venue is located next to the hotel’s private marina. You can even stop by private boat if you are lucky enough to own one.
101 – Dining Lounge and Bar, is located overlooking the most amazing view, while the terrace is on stilts jutting out over the water. The food, service and of course the music are all impeccable. We are proud to be showcasing the most amazing jazz, in the most amazing setting.
When and why did you start performing?
I started singing and performing at a very early age. My earliest memory is 4 or 5 . I was always in love with the stage …the lights, music, costumes and I adored musicals. So I guess I was born with the passion.
What was the first song you learned?
My very first song I performed at Cork Opera House, Ireland . It was “Feed the Birds “ from a Mary Poppins production. I remember it like yesterday … very happy times.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Without a doubt Billie Holiday. I’m pretty convinced I was around in that era. No one sings with such passion and conviction. That lady can sing the Blues like no one can.
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighbourhood or town?
Performing at The Guinness Jazz Festival ,Ireland with my band ROUGE and making the Front page of The Sunday Times and nearly all the papers for our performance. Was a surreal moment.
Were you influenced by old records? Which ones?
All of my records are old …ha ha , but my passion for Jazz began with a Billie Holiday record “You’ve Changed” it changed my life forever
Who are your favourite musicians?
My favourite, musicians we would be here all day . But I adore Lester Young and Charlie Bird , Django Reinhardt , Oscar Peterson….but my list is endless .
Do you get nervous before a performance?
You may not believe this but NO, my husband always said “You are happiest when on stage “You open up like a flower “ . Think the only time I might get nervous would be if I was unfamiliar with a new song. I do not like to have a music stand on stage, so knowing all the lyrics is very important to me .
How often and for how long do you practice?
I rehearse, with the band and alone up to 3 hours , 3 days a week . Depending on the schedule of the week really . I never warm up either …A good soundcheck is great.
How do you balance your music with other obligations –friends/family etc?
Well I feel really sorry for all those close to me. I live in Jazz La la land. My sons who are 16 and 17 now have grown up with this all their lives, not at all bothered. Don’t think they will ever be musicians though. My husband is a saint, he comes to all my performance’s and is my best critic. My parents only ever encouraged me and everyone else has just accepted my passion and madness a long time ago
Celebrate Easter with Anita and her jazz trio at 101, The One & Only The Palm. Sample a special Easter menu in a breath-taking venue with great live jazz.