(“vol-ah-ray” means “to fly” in Italian )
” One of the best groups I’ve ever heard. These women are going places! I’d like to get an album when they make one or help them get a gig locally in Chicago…”
Email to Christchurch and Canterbury Marketing from Patty Killoran, U.S. visitor to the Arts Centre – Feb 2000
Elizabeth Braggins, Nicki Reece and Susan de Jong are Volare. They create their own brand of swinging jazz and lounge sandwiched between layers of lush vocal harmony covering classic songs from artists like Peggy Lee, The Andrews Sisters, and Dean Martin from the 40’s and 50’s through to more contemporary tunes from the likes of The Doors, Savage Garden and Manhattan Transfer.
ELIZABETH BRAGGINS (B Mus., T.Coll. Dip)
is known nationwide for her piano, vocal and composition. Her self-titled CD was a showcase of Christchurch and Wellington musicians produced by Nigel Stone and Malcolm McNeill. It went on to become a finalist in the New Zealand Music Awards. Along with her husband Dan Wilson (saxophone), Paul Dyne (bass), Roger Sellars (drums) and Terry Crayford (piano) Elizabeth featured on National Radio under the guise of “Kiss My Coda”. Other albums include “Live Takes” with Graham Wardrop, and two “Live at Tuskers” albums with Janice Gray. She has two daughters – Sophie and Olivia – and teaches music at the ChristchurchRudolphSteinerSchool. Elizabeth has a deep love of harmonies and has been working them out since the age of 9.
NICKI REECE (B Bursary !!)
has performed with most of Christchurch’s finest musicians at one time or other for gigs like Classical Sparks, Summertimes, Festival of Romance, Christchurch Arts Festival, the Christchurch International Jazz Festival, Marlborough Wine & Food Festival, and Festival of Dance. She has also been involved in theatre and does commercial voice-over work. She has done everything from singing telegrams to cabaret to fundraisers. By day she is Programme Director at Community Radio PLAINS FM 96.9.
SUSAN DE JONG (B. Mus)
has chalked up 15 years performing in Australia, the USA and Thailand. She has supported the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Gloria Estefan and is an accomplished, passionate vocalist who performs with verve and humour. Her experience encompasses big bands, small combos and jazz choirs, and she has sung at all the major jazz festivals in Australia. She teaches jazz vocals at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, and since moving to New Zealand has performed around the South Island and regularly in Christchurch
An Andrews Sisters Tribute
In military uniform, with information on this famous American harmony trio, and classic songs like Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree, Bei Mir Bist du Shon, Rum and Coca Cola, and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Where Did All These Curvy Bits Come From?!
(3 x 30 minutes)
A funny, ironic look at a woman’s life in 3 stages. We read from scripts, which comprise
poetry, readings, commentary, and wisecracks interspersed with song. Most recently we
performed this show for the Christchurch International Arts Festival.
” See them strut in cabaret, light and easy on the digestion. The songs are polished presentations, confident and true.” (Press critic John Reid, August 2001)
(3 x 40 minutes)
Perfect for an event with a middle eastern theme. We incorporate songs like ‘Caravan’,
‘Istanbul’ and ‘Too Darn Hot’ as well as the Andrews Sisters set in military gear, and some
French songs for example ‘La Vie En Pose’ a spoof on the famous Piaf classic – as the French influence was very strong in Northern Africa.
Volare can do up to three 40 minute sets of swing jazz, and other classic tunes. They work either as trio with a keyboard, and various percussion sounds in an intimate setting, or with an added quartet consisting of guitar, sax, double bass and drums. For conference gigs, festivals or larger venues when a bit of dance music might be required they can add a fourth 40 minute set of rock ‘n roll.