Passionate, expressive, and humourous are some of the adjectives to describe the performances by Susan de Jong.
Born in Glenelg, South Australia, Susan has been singing Jazz and Contemporary music for over 20 years. An accomplished vocalist she has performed many styles of music from Jazz, Latin, folk, disco, rock, church and blues music with a variety of bands; Big Bands, small combos, orchestras and Choirs.
Most of her experience has been in Australia and New Zealand and includes performances at prestigious festivals including:
Adelaide Fringe Festival (Aust)
Tauranga Jazz Festival (NZ)
Christchurch International Jazz and Blues Festival (NZ)
Christchurch Arts Festival
Wangaratta Jazz Festival (Aust)
Susan has also performed in Thailand and the USA.
Susan won the Best Jazz Student award at her college in Adelaide (1990) and was a finalist in the Australian Jazz Awards for best young Jazz Vocalist at Wangaratta (1998)
Now residing in Christchurch, New Zealand Susan is the vocal lecturer at the CPIT Jazz School where she has run the vocal programme for 12 years. She continues to perform regularly, mostly with jazz and choral ensembles. She writes and arrangers for a variety of choirs and composes and arranges her own works.
Volare (1998 - 2007):
Three gorgeous women,
Some hand percussion.
This is all Volaré needs to create a luscious sound filled with harmonies and humour.
Elizabeth Braggins, Nicki Reece and Susan de Jong are Volaré. They’ve created their own brand of swinging jazz and lounge sandwiched between layers of lush vocal harmony. Audience members rave about the energy and fun that is had when watching Volaré perform. Then add the odd kazoo solo or a ukulele and you’ve really got a show!
Volaré was named after that very Italian song as sung by Dean Martin in the 1950s. The trio began when asked to form for an Italian Festival in the late 1990s in Christchurch New Zealand. Now their repertoire has expanded with songs from the 1920s – 2000.
“We’ll pretty much give anything a go – with a Volaré twist of course” says vocalist Nicki Reece. “Lizzie plays a mean piano and seems to know pretty much every popular song under the sun.”
“Though that’s not a challenge to the audience,” adds in vocalist/pianist Elizabeth Braggins. “While we do sometimes take requests at gigs – and have a lot of fun attempting songs we’ve never performed together before – the real beauty in what we do is the harmonies. And we’ve been working on those for quite a few years now.”
Volaré are known for their exquisite harmonies as much as for their humour.
From beautiful ballads of the 1940’s like ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ to more recent renditions like Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why’, they also tackle 1960’s hits like ‘Can’t Take my Eyes Off You’ and ‘Baby Love.’
“You can even catch us performing the odd Abba tune, or other 70’s hits like ‘Lady Marmalade’ – but always with a Volaré twist!” adds vocalist Susan de Jong (originally from Adelaide, she joined Volaré in 2000)