CABARET FESTIVAL – Emma Pask: A Latin Fiesta – 4.5K

cabaretlogoOlivia Henry


The award-winning Emma Pask is an Australian vocalist with a new album heavily influenced by Latin Jazz. With an impressive resume (having performed with big names such as James Morrison and George Benson), Pask is the real deal when it comes to nailing that Latin feel. Pask and her band produce music that you can feel in the floor and through your body.


The show is located in the Festival Theatre Stage – literally on the stage. As you enter, you are guided through the doors and onto the stage, where you are seated at a round table to enjoy the performance. This Jazz Bar/Lounge Setting is wonderful and warm, however was made a little uncomfortable as the venue tried to squeeze in as many tables as possible in a small space. The idea was lovely and intimate, but could have been executed a little better. The best way to stay comfortable as an audience member, try to get in a little early to establish your seat and the space around you.


Pask started strong, with a team of talented musicians by her side. Throughout the evening, she sang in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Between each song, she told stories about the music and her background. This felt genuine and gave a wonderful, personal twist to her performance. At one point, Pask sheepishly mentioned that she participated in the Voice, season 2, and her coach Ricky Martin asked her to appear on his upcoming album. Although this would have been an exciting opportunity for Pask, it is better that she remained independent, as she is clearly not a commercial performer; she is a Jazz musician and belongs with musicians like her.


Pask performed a range of music from standards to her own original work. It seems to be surprisingly difficult for artists to produce original jazz that fits comfortably with the old favourites, but Pask pulls this off extremely well.


It’s difficult to discover new acts these days, as jazz (especially Latin Jazz) is hard to master and nail that ‘feel.’ However, Pask does pull it off, seemingly effortlessly with warm, rich tones and excellent rhythm.


A Latin Feel was an enjoyable evening and is highly recommended for jazz lovers of all ages. It’s here for the Cabaret Festival until the 18th of June. For more information and tickets, click here.

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