‘I've always gone and done gigs at aged care facilities. One time, I was singing Someone to watch over me and there was this amazing woman who started singing — she just came alive. I stopped and just let her go and she sang the entire song. Her daughter was there, and I went and spoke to her later and she said her mother used to be a singer. She doesn't recognise her, doesn't know who she is, but she'll sing the songs. Music is that important.’

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Music has always been a vital part of singer-songwriter Nina Ferro’s life.

‘From as long as I can remember, music was something that really moved me,’ she says.

‘It's not surprising; my father loves music, he has a real visceral reaction, it gives him such joy and it makes him feel so emotional and I feel that exact same way. We both can't listen to opera and not bawl our eyes out.’

Nina began performing at weddings and as a backing singer while still a young teen.

‘By the time I was 19 and 20, I was doing a couple of gigs a week.’

‘My mum was really great. She said to me, “If you really want to do this, then put everything into it”. So, I just went for it and all of a sudden the gigs were coming in.’

Although best known as a jazz singer, Nina has expanded her repertoire over the years to include everything from Aretha Franklin to country music and now also writes and performs her own music. Whilst 2020 is the first time Nina has been part of the Victorian Seniors Festival, she is no stranger to performing for older people.

‘One of my first gigs was at my grandpa's aged care facility. I was probably 10 years old and I remember sitting there and singing songs with him and the residents and they were all singing along,’ Nina says.

‘I've always gone and done gigs at aged care facilities. One time, I was singing Someone to watch over me and there was this amazing woman who started singing — she just came alive. I stopped and just let her go and she sang the entire song. Her daughter was there, and I went and spoke to her later and she said her mother used to be a singer. She doesn't recognise her, doesn't know who she is, but she'll sing the songs. Music is that important.’

Watch Nina's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.