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Krall continues to grow


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POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009

Like many musicians, Diana Krall isn't much for the interview thing. She communicates through written lyrics and prepared melodies, putting her own stamp on the proceedings. Google-browsing through other interviews reveals only a few actual quotes—she's apparently paraphrased a lot—so we're lucky to get her for a few minutes, even by long distance.

               

     

 

DIANA KRALL

        With the Honolulu Symphony Pops; Matt Catingub, conductor
       

In concert: 8 p.m. March 19 and 20

       

Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall

       

Tickets: $45 to $125

       

Call: 524-0815 or visit www.honolulusymphony.com

       

Also: Pops season-ticket holders who renew their subscriptions by March 20 receive two free companion tickets to the upcoming Poncho Sanchez concert, plus a chance in a drawing for free parking next season.

       

 

       

And we discover things are going great. New album on the way, a well-trained husband, healthy kids ... Krall isn't singing the blues.

“;Life is fantastic for me!”; enthuses Krall. “;Because I've just finished a record, I'm working with Barbra Streisand on her new record, I've got two beautiful children, I have a great husband, I live in Vancouver, I'm busy, I'm enjoying my life—and life couldn't be better! Happier than I've ever been my whole life.”;

Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, directly across the Georgia Strait from Vancouver, her hometown was “;pulp, paper and fishing,”; said Krall. “;My father collected 78 (rpm) records and I grew up with a love of jazz music in my family and I had a great music program in my school. My music teacher was a jazz musician. Dinah Washington was certainly a big influence, but I grew up listening to Fats Waller and Nat King Cole and early Bing Crosby.”;

Krall has been playing piano since she was 4 years old and began sitting in with Vancouver Island jazz groups while still in high school.

“;I started out as a piano player and didn't start singing until I was about 26,”; said Krall. “;Pretty old to start singing! It was just a natural thing.”;

Krall's husband is British musician Elvis Costello, a songwriter whose literate, punchy tunes have ranged from protopunk raveups to gorgeous ballads. Perhaps due to Costello's influence, Krall recently began to write her own songs. Married in 2003 at Elton John's estate outside London, the couple had twin sons—Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James—in 2006.

After establishing herself in the entertainment capitols of Los Angeles and New York, the Krall clan re-established roots in British Columbia. Vancouver, a bustling, multiethnic, seacoast city with a lively arts scene, could be a sister city to Honolulu, “;with the big mountains behind and the sea,”; noted Krall. “;It's similar to Rio too, I guess, you might say—if you've ever been to Rio.”;

Not yet, but “;Quiet Nights,”; Krall's next album, will likely do wonders for tourism in Rio. It reinvigorates the samba and bossa nova beats that put Rio on the map. The album is due March 31.

Krall started in fairly small clubs, and now that she's playing bigger venues, finds she has to project more. “;A small nightclub is a lot different than playing in the Waikiki Shell. More amplification, I guess, and that's up to the sound guy. But, actually, I treat a big room the same way I treat a small room. I create intimacy. It's a mindset, it's not really about amplification or projection; it's about creating intimacy so you feel like you're in a small club. That's my intention.”;

Even though the family was just in Hawaii in January for holiday whale-watching, Krall is more than happy to return.

“;You know how you go to a place sometimes and you know how you like to be there? There's nothing like Hawaii. It's almost like I don't want to work there too much—I don't want to associate Hawaii with work!”;