The Narissa Young Trio – pianist Scott Arkell, singer Narissa Young and bassist Rick Kilburn – perform at the Port Theatre on Sept. 26. (Photo courtesy Francois Savard)

The Narissa Young Trio – pianist Scott Arkell, singer Narissa Young and bassist Rick Kilburn – perform at the Port Theatre on Sept. 26. (Photo courtesy Francois Savard)

Nanaimo jazz singer takes on five languages in multilingual concert

Narissa Young and her band present ‘Trio Euro’ at the Port Theatre

International travel may be a little tricky these days, so a Nanaimo jazz singer is taking listeners on a European tour through song.

On Sept. 26 the Narissa Young Trio – pianist Scott Arkell, singer Narissa Young and bassist Rick Kilburn – present Trio Euro at the Port Theatre, as part of the venue’s Discovery series highlighting local talent. Young describes the show as “a trip on the wings of music through nine countries, five languages, in one night.”

“My passion for language is strongly connected to my passion for music. In fact, they’re very much the same to me,” Young said. “They’re both things that require immersion, practice. They both contain patterns, things that group together, things that don’t … so it’s a natural fit to sing in different languages.”

Young said learning a new language is like discovering a new food and peering through a window into a new culture. She studied French in school and developed a love of Spanish about 15 years ago. She’ll also be singing in English, Italian and Greek. She’ll even be singing songs that change language part-way through.

“I guess each language that emerges is a bit like a different version of myself, so I love it,” Young said. “It’s fascinating. I love the process of learning the lyrics, learning the meanings, looking at different translations and really becoming that person for that song.”

It’s the first time Young has headlined her own show at the Port and said “it’s a bit of a milestone.”

She said the concert will be mostly comprised of jazz with “just a sprinkle” of pop. In choosing her repertoire, Young looked for songs that she identified with before finding recordings by native speakers and seeking out a translation that “really conveys the sentiment of the song.” She said in some cases listeners don’t need to know the language in order to grasp that sentiment.

“Take the song La Vie En Rose,” she said. “Anyone that hears that song is instantly transported. It doesn’t matter if you understand it or not, something about the melody and the sounds of the French words has the ability to transport and that’s just always mystified me.”

WHAT’S ON … The Narissa Young Trio plays the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $27 for adults, $24 for members, $15 for students with valid ID. Live stream tickets also offered. Available from the Port Theatre.

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