The versatile multilingual vocalist Elin was born in Sweden, but you would never know it by listening to her. Her style has a strong Brazilian influence even when she is belting out standards like Gershwin's “Fascinating Rhythm” or her own compositions, as heard on her début CD, Lazy Afternoon (Blue Toucan Music).
“It's pretty hard for me to categorize myself as a vocalist, as I think it's hard for many musicians to categorize their own sound,” she says by e-mail. “I'm very influenced by Brazilian music and singers, as well as jazz vocalists and pop vocalists. I guess I see myself as a vocalist who likes to sings beautiful songs in as many languages as possible.”
On her disc, Brazil indeed seems to have a special place in heart, as she takes on tunes like Ary Barroso's “Aquarela do Brasil” and Jobim's “Bonita.” “I was 15 on summer break from school in Sweden, so I started rummaging through my parents' record collection,” she recalls. “I'd been studying music and instruments since I was 7, and was getting ready to start a music high school that fall. I pulled out one LP only from the whole bunch and chose to play it for no particular reason whatsoever -- It was João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim. I assumed it was jazz, and although I'd never liked the sounds of jazz before, I decided right there and then that I was going to be a jazz singer.”
Her appearance at Arturo Sandoval’s marks one of the club’s last, as the venue is to close its doors on March 1. At her two performances, Elin will perform tunes from her own disc, as well as material culled from a recent European tour, which included a stop at the Canary Islands. “Although they belong to Spain and Spanish is the main language, there are so many tourists there from all over the world that I wanted to include as many songs in other languages as I could,” she explains. “My show in Miami will be very similar, with songs from my album in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and also well-known songs in Italian, French, Swedish and German.” -- Ernest Barteldes
Elin performs Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23 at the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club, 6701 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Show times are 8 and 10:30 p.m. both nights, and tickets are $20. Call 305-403-7565, or visit www.arturosandovaljazzclub.com.