New York-based vocalist Amy Cervini leads her quartet to the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

New York-based vocalist Amy Cervini leads her quartet to the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Talent runs in the family with this New York quartet

Enjoy an evening of easy ballads and breezy swing with the Amy Cervini Quartet at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Described by The New York Times as a “thoughtful and broad-minded jazz singer,” Cervini’s performances effortlessly skip through a variety of genres, styles, and periods.

“I have a very eclectic music style,” said Cervini. “I enjoy bending and mixing genres to create something unique and interesting.

Cervini will perform songs from her CD, Lovefool, as well as previewing tunes from her upcoming release, Digging Me, Digging You, a tribute to the late vocalist, pianist, and composer Blossom Dearie.

Lovefool features a diverse mixture of songs including American songbook favourites Comes Love and Bye Bye Country Boy, and songs by Depeche Mode, The Cardigans, and Jack Johnson.

Cervini’s musical journey began with classical piano, detoured into jazz saxophone, and ended finally with jazz vocals.

“I began playing sax in big bands and jazz combos. At one point, someone suggested that I sing a song with the big band and I haven’t stopped playing and singing jazz since,” said Cervini. “I was drawn to the freedom and flexibility in jazz as opposed to classical music.”

Based in New York, Cervini is a regular at venues throughout the city –– from The 55 Bar to Carnegie Hall.

Her Vernon stop is part of the quartet’s West Coast debut tour in both the U.S. and Canada.

“I’m very excited to meet audiences on the West Coast. I haven’t had the opportunity to perform here, but I heard wonderful things about it from my brother, Ernesto,” explained Cervini.

Other stops on the tour include Vancouver, Kamloops, Seattle, and Portland.

Cervini also performs regularly with a new project, Jazz Country, fusing the sensibilities of jazz and country music.

Unique projects like this are the result of Cervini’s approach to musical collaboration.

“For me, collaboration is very important in what I do,” explained Cervini. “I prefer to work with musicians who are as invested in a project as I am. I believe that makes for better music.”

The Amy Cervini Quartet has been playing together for more than five years, allowing for a very unique sound and relationship. The quartet includes brother Ernesto Cervini on drums, Michael Cabe on piano, and Mark Lau on bass.

Drummer Ernesto wowed Vernon audiences at the VJC in November 2009 with the Ernesto Cervini Quartet. Also an excellent pianist and clarinetist, Ernesto is in great demand as a sideman and band leader.  He has shared the stage with many legendary jazz musicians such as Joe Lovano, Cleo Laine, Pat LaBarbera, Phil Nimmons, and Peter Appleyard.

Pianist Cabe performs regularly as a solo artist, fronts his own trio, and also performs with MEM3. He maintains an active private piano studio and has several large-scale orchestral arrangements to his credit.

Originally from Australia, bassist Lau received his master of music degree in jazz bass performance at the Manhattan School of Music. He performs with many notable musicians and also composes commercial jungles.

The Amy Cervini Quartet takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000 31st St. upstairs) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets are $20 ($15 for VJS members) at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup coffee houses.

–– Dvoira Yanovsky is a freelance writer who provides The Morning Star with promotional articles for the Vernon Jazz Society’s season.