Bec Reid

This week, the theme is imagination, and we are thrilled to be joined by multi award-winning vocalist extraordinaire. It’s Nina Ferro! Hi, Nina.

Nina Ferro

Hi everyone! It’s great to be here.

Bec Reid

Nina, where are you joining us from today?

Nina Ferro

This is my lounge room. I’ve - I’ve finally been able to keep some plants alive. I’m not very good at it. I have succulents. That’s about it but I - through COVID, I thought you know what? I’m going to give it a go and see if I can keep them alive. It’s working so far.

Bec Reid

What began your love of singing?

Nina Ferro

I have a very specific memory of my mum putting an Aretha Franklin record on and I was very young at the time. I probably wouldn’t have been more than about four or five, and I just - I remember hearing Spanish Harlem, the song Spanish Harlem, and it changed my life. There’s something in her voice and in her life experience that just gets you.

[music]

RESPECT, find out what it means to me. RESPECT.

Nina Ferro

It just cuts straight to the heart of things.

Bec Reid

Nina, what is it about your beautiful performing that you feel inspires others to imagine?

Nina Ferro

They’re given permission to feel what they want to feel. So, I might be singing a song about something that means one thing to me but it will mean something different to the listener and then when you’ve got a room full of people, they’re all relating to that song in different ways.

Bec Reid

To date, what has been a career highlight?

Nina Ferro

I think the Tony Bennett concert was a real career highlight for me. He was such a gentleman. He was divine, I can’t even tell you. He was so lovely and I watched his sound check and was completely in awe. I’ve had other experiences, especially living in London. I got to perform and tour and support a lot of great artists like Neil Sedaka and Gregory Porter and then I was on stage at Wembley Arena with a band called the Zach Brown Band from the US. I also had a run of shows at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for about a year and a half. I did about 80 shows at Ronnie Scott’s, supporting all of the bands like Dave Sandbur and Chick Career, Jimmy Smith, Chris Boherty. My favourite however was Jose Feliciano. He loves Coopers Ale, so I came back the second night with a six pack of Coopers and I showed him how to roll the bottles along the table which he didn’t know about. He was hilarious.

Bec Reid

Can you share with us your love particularly of jazz?

Nina Ferro

My love of jazz came a bit later on. I grew up listening to Motown, like I said, Aretha Franklin and all of these kinds of performers who have a jazz background. When I was in my late teens, my mother took me to some jazz gigs and I just loved the music and got to know the people and let them know that I was a singer and I went away and learned some songs, and then I came back and sang those songs and literally the rest is history. It’s a part of who I am. I think it’s part of my DNA now. I will never stop singing jazz. It’s the sort of art form that comes - it just travels with you throughout your whole entire life, no matter what season of life that you’re in.

[music and singing]

Imagination is funny

Makes a cloudy day sunny

Makes a bee think of honey

Just as I - I think of you

Imagination is crazy

Your whole perspective gets hazy

Starts to ask a daisy what to do, what to do

Have you ever found a gentle touch and then kiss

And then find it’s only your imagination again

Oh, well

Imagination is silly

You go around regally

As for example I go around wanting you, wanting you

Oh, and I can’t - I can’t imagine that you want me too

Oh, have you ever felt a gentle touch

And then a kiss and then find it’s only your imagination again?

Oh, imagination is silly

You go around regally

As for example I go around wanting you, wanting you

And yes, I can’t imagine that you want me too

 

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‘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.’ says Nina Ferro.

Visit Nina's website.

Read her Performer Profile.

 

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An online Festival is completely new for us and we hope you enjoy the performances.

Bec Reid

This week, the theme is imagination, and we are thrilled to be joined by multi award-winning vocalist extraordinaire. It’s Nina Ferro! Hi, Nina.

Nina Ferro

Hi everyone! It’s great to be here.

Bec Reid

Nina, where are you joining us from today?

Nina Ferro

This is my lounge room. I’ve - I’ve finally been able to keep some plants alive. I’m not very good at it. I have succulents. That’s about it but I - through COVID, I thought you know what? I’m going to give it a go and see if I can keep them alive. It’s working so far.

Bec Reid

What began your love of singing?

Nina Ferro

I have a very specific memory of my mum putting an Aretha Franklin record on and I was very young at the time. I probably wouldn’t have been more than about four or five, and I just - I remember hearing Spanish Harlem, the song Spanish Harlem, and it changed my life. There’s something in her voice and in her life experience that just gets you.

[music]

RESPECT, find out what it means to me. RESPECT.

Nina Ferro

It just cuts straight to the heart of things.

Bec Reid

Nina, what is it about your beautiful performing that you feel inspires others to imagine?

Nina Ferro

They’re given permission to feel what they want to feel. So, I might be singing a song about something that means one thing to me but it will mean something different to the listener and then when you’ve got a room full of people, they’re all relating to that song in different ways.

Bec Reid

To date, what has been a career highlight?

Nina Ferro

I think the Tony Bennett concert was a real career highlight for me. He was such a gentleman. He was divine, I can’t even tell you. He was so lovely and I watched his sound check and was completely in awe. I’ve had other experiences, especially living in London. I got to perform and tour and support a lot of great artists like Neil Sedaka and Gregory Porter and then I was on stage at Wembley Arena with a band called the Zach Brown Band from the US. I also had a run of shows at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for about a year and a half. I did about 80 shows at Ronnie Scott’s, supporting all of the bands like Dave Sandbur and Chick Career, Jimmy Smith, Chris Boherty. My favourite however was Jose Feliciano. He loves Coopers Ale, so I came back the second night with a six pack of Coopers and I showed him how to roll the bottles along the table which he didn’t know about. He was hilarious.

Bec Reid

Can you share with us your love particularly of jazz?

Nina Ferro

My love of jazz came a bit later on. I grew up listening to Motown, like I said, Aretha Franklin and all of these kinds of performers who have a jazz background. When I was in my late teens, my mother took me to some jazz gigs and I just loved the music and got to know the people and let them know that I was a singer and I went away and learned some songs, and then I came back and sang those songs and literally the rest is history. It’s a part of who I am. I think it’s part of my DNA now. I will never stop singing jazz. It’s the sort of art form that comes - it just travels with you throughout your whole entire life, no matter what season of life that you’re in.

[music and singing]

Imagination is funny

Makes a cloudy day sunny

Makes a bee think of honey

Just as I - I think of you

Imagination is crazy

Your whole perspective gets hazy

Starts to ask a daisy what to do, what to do

Have you ever found a gentle touch and then kiss

And then find it’s only your imagination again

Oh, well

Imagination is silly

You go around regally

As for example I go around wanting you, wanting you

Oh, and I can’t - I can’t imagine that you want me too

Oh, have you ever felt a gentle touch

And then a kiss and then find it’s only your imagination again?

Oh, imagination is silly

You go around regally

As for example I go around wanting you, wanting you

And yes, I can’t imagine that you want me too