The ReVoice Jazz Vocal festival is now in its third year and opens tonight with a sold out show at Pizza Express, Dean Street. The festival is curated by vocalist Georgia Mancio and runs for nine days at Pizza Express and Union Chapel, London. Georgia not only organises the whole event, but also performs at the support set at every ReVoice gig. We caught up with Georgia back in the summer to chat about the festival and find out how she’s been preparing…
the girls are: This is the third year of the ReVoice festival – it seems to have grown into something really established, which is amazing…
Georgia Mancio: Well, it was quite a surprise for me. I think it was a combination of things. The first year, wasn’t even a festival, I didn’t really have a plan, it didn’t even have a name. It was just a series you know with some artists I really wanted to bring over. I branded it, gave it a logo, made it clear that it was a voice festival and then I think last year because the festival was over nine days instead of five there was much more time for the momentum to get going.
tga: So what is the driving force behind ReVoice?
GM: Initially it was really down to a couple of individual artists that I was frustrated I wasn’t seeing them in the UK. It was really as simple as that. Then, I started realising that there were a lot of artists, particularly European musicians that just don’t seem to tour in the UK. So that was half of the reason. The other half was definitely for personal artistic development of having a residency if you like, in a profiled environment and pushing myself to work with people I’ve never worked with before in very intense scenarios. You are also pitting yourself before these fantastic artists that you really respect and admire. It’s quite a daunting thing sometimes. But it’s also great because by the end of the week you’ve got all these influences from everyone you’ve seen but you also have to strengthen what you do and remain true to what you do, which I have always believed in. Because otherwise you just sort a patchwork of your influences and I think you need to have your own identity.
tga: What effect has working with all these different musicians had on you creatively?
GM: I think it has probably made me braver. You have to think in a more creative way and be very open to what the other person brings to it rather than dictating what they must play. I’ve realised there are so many people I’d like to work with in the future.
tga: Being true to the artistic side of the festival is very important to you isn’t it?
GM: It really is. We had talked about the idea of making the festival bigger and say putting it into two or three venues at the same time, but that didn’t interest me at all, because there wouldn’t be that personal connection. I want to announce the band and I want to do the support slots.
tga: What would you like ReVoice to be in the future?
GM: I love the idea of a ‘pop up’ ReVoice. It could have an international reciprocal exchange somehow. So you could do a couple of days in Paris and then move around. That would be a lovely idea. Also then to be able to work with foreign artists would be amazing for me personally. The world is smaller than we realise. Also I think because we are in difficult times, there is that sense that people are keeping things close to their chests, and not sharing. And I don’t see the point in that because you are in competition with everybody else all the time anyway, so sharing information about venues, tours and artists will enrich yourself as well as helping somebody else too. I think that is definitely the way to go – to try and bring us all back together into a community.
tga: That’s a very positive attitude to have and we hope to see a ‘pop up’ ReVoice very soon…but for now, this year festival looks fantastic..
GM: It’s been amazing and a real journey.