Sylvia Bennett
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Sylvia Bennett

| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

| INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Jazz Adult Contemporary

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"Critical Jazz Reviews Sylvia Bennett"

Discovered by the great Lionel Hampton Sonrie is the culmination of a dream for Sylvia Bennett. A Spanish-language release of timeless elegance and sophistication transcends traditional jazz genres as well as the obvious language barriers to create a deceptively seduction Latin connection that is simply spot on in presentation and performance. Bennett's musical resume alone is the stuff dreams are made of. Sylvia Bennett has performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush and opened for such
luminaries as Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow. Lionel Hampton became a mentor of sorts to Bennett reinforcing the importance of musical integrity and the rest would simply follow.
Opening with the Burt Bacharach classic "Look of Love" there is a contemporary flair to make a presentation that might best be found in the showroom of some of the better Las Vegas Hotels transform into a more intimate setting. "Besame Mucho" is approached in the much the same contemporary fashion while sidestepping the lounge lizard approach long associated with attempting a presentation of this nature. "The Shadow Of Your Smile" makes an effortless transition to the Spanish-language format and simply continues a sublime presentation of the romantic flavor introduced by Bennett on this wonderful recording.
Sylvia Bennett's vocals are intoxicating and delivered in a confident and self-assured style that allows this release to take on it's own authenticity and explore the somewhat dated concept of a Spanish-language release in a far more relevant and contemporary showcase.
A captivating and highly entertaining release.
Tracks: Mirada de Amor; Besame Mucho; Por Ti; Sonrie; Quien Sera; Somos Novios; Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado; Tanto Vivir; Perfidia; La Sombra de Tu Amor; El Reloj; Sabor a Mi.
Personnel: Sylvia Bennett: vocals; Mike Levine: piano (1-10); Chuck Bergeron: bass (1,4,7,8,10); Ranses Colon: bass (2,3,5,6,9); Richard Bravo: drums & percussion (1,4,7,10); Hal S. Batt: all guitars, drum and percussion programming; Mike Lewis: Vienna Strings arrangements and performance; Geremy Miller: violin (1,4,7,10); Background vocals on Tanto Vivir by Astrid Pazmino and Hal S. Batt. Hal S. Batt: programming, bass and strings on El Reloj and Sabor a Mi.
- Brent Black - Critical Jazz


"Sylvia Bennett, "Sonrie," Latin Tinged Cabaret Jazz from A Finessing Vocalist"

Sylvia Bennett did an album of standards with a Latin flare a while back. That album is now available in a Spanish-language version, Sonrie (Smile) (Out of Sight 2517). Ms. Bennet has a dead-on sense of pitch, passion in reserve, and plenty of nice finesse, a very pretty voice. She gets the full red-carpet Latin-tinged arrangements that give the whole thing the bachelor pad easy-on-the-ears sort of sensibility so
many MOR albums had in the late-'50s through the '60s. Yet there is nothing at all tasteless about this music (unlike some of those records from back then). There are some very nice standards, Latin and otherwise--"Besame Mucho," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Smile," etc., all with a Latin-bossa lilt. It's not music I would ordinary cover but hey, it's so well done here. If I like it, well, there must be something to it, right? I mean, I am not getting paid (a dime) to say this. There is something here. It's really nice. - Grego Applegate Edwards - Gapplegate Guitar Review


"Sylvia Bennett, "Sonrie," Latin Tinged Cabaret Jazz from A Finessing Vocalist"

Sylvia Bennett did an album of standards with a Latin flare a while back. That album is now available in a Spanish-language version, Sonrie (Smile) (Out of Sight 2517). Ms. Bennet has a dead-on sense of pitch, passion in reserve, and plenty of nice finesse, a very pretty voice. She gets the full red-carpet Latin-tinged arrangements that give the whole thing the bachelor pad easy-on-the-ears sort of sensibility so
many MOR albums had in the late-'50s through the '60s. Yet there is nothing at all tasteless about this music (unlike some of those records from back then). There are some very nice standards, Latin and otherwise--"Besame Mucho," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Smile," etc., all with a Latin-bossa lilt. It's not music I would ordinary cover but hey, it's so well done here. If I like it, well, there must be something to it, right? I mean, I am not getting paid (a dime) to say this. There is something here. It's really nice. - Grego Applegate Edwards - Gapplegate Guitar Review


"SYLVIA BENNETT: SONRIE (Translated)"

No doubt that the Latin influence in the United States is becoming increasingly important and influential. More than 50 million Spanish speakers support the claim categorically. Many American singers and vocalists have tried to approach this important audience and they have performed musical productions entirely in Spanish. That is what the Italian singer now living in America, Sylvia Bennett, has done. She is used to interpreting the American Songbook, do not forget that her early days as lead singer made with the legendary vibraphonist Lionel Hampton in the mid-80's-and has sung classics from the likes of Barbra Streisand, Ella
Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow or Bette Midler, among many others. This time Ms. Bennett comes to delight with twelve Latin and Spanish classical compositions that are included in her latest album with the generic title "Sonrie." And we cannot stop saying that Sylvia Bennett has always been passionate about music and Latin culture and therefore the presentation and release of "Sonrie" is a real dream come true. Throughout this new and special musical project, we will have the opportunity to hear the silky, strong and bright voice of Sylvia Bennett in perfect Spanish, a feature that certainly stands out in an Anglo-Saxon vocalist. "Sonrie" has been playing on American radio stations since last October 4, when the label Out Of Sight Music Inc. released the album, and certainly no acceptance has been better, as the disc is being requested by Hispanic American radio stations. Another thing that attracts attention in this new album by Sylvia Bennett is the good choice of repertoire. In this way we are going to find classics that everyone, to a greater or lesser extent, have ever heard. "Besame Mucho", "Somos Novios," "Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado," "Perfidia," "El Reloj" and "Sabor A Mi" are undoubtedly classical compositions that seem not to age despite the passing of years. To these almost mandatory traditional songs are added others as "Look Of Love", "Por Ti," "Sonrie," "Quien Sera", "Tanto Vivir" or "La Sombra de tu Amor." Sylvia Bennett has undoubtedly counted on first class Spanish composers such as Consuelo Velazquez ("Besame Mucho"), Armando Manzanero ("Somos Novios"), Maria Grever ("Cuando Vuelva a tu Lado" ), Alberto Dominguez ("Perfidia"), Roberto Cantoral ("El Reloh") or Alvaro Carrillo ("Sabor A Mi"). The vocalist does not forget the American composer Burt Bacharach with the Spanish version of the classic "The Look Of Love" whose literal translation is: "Mirada de Amor." In the album there are two songs written by the successful producer and songwriter Hal S. Batt entitled "Por Ti" and "Tanto Vivir". Hal S. Batt is one of the most prestigious and influential composers of Latin music. He has written scores for Julio Iglesias, Chayanne and Noelia, among others. The album also included the song entitled "Sonrie" ("Smile") composed by Charles Chaplin which was sung at Michael Jackson’s funeral by his brother Jermaine Jackson. With respect to the musicians who accompany Sylvia Bennett in "Sonrie," included are the presence of pianist Mike Levine, bassist Chuck Bergeron, Ranses Colon and the drummer and percussionist Richard Bravo. Hal S. Batt handles guitars, drums and programmed percussions. The string section is played and arranged by Mike Lewis, Geremy Miller taking care of additional violins. Astrid Pazmino and Hal S. Batt do vocals on the song "Tanto Vivir". The album is produced, recorded and mixed by Hal S. Batt. In the recording, there is the special participation of John Angelogianopulos. Bruce Weeden mastered the album. The entire disc is recorded in the Afterhours Music Studio located in North Miami, Florida. - No Solo Jazz - JAVIER GARCIA ESCAMEZ


"Sylvia Bennett taps into the hispanic listener"

Grammy award winning vocalist Sylvia Bennett releases Sonrie, a jazz standards release with a new twist, well a Latin tinged one at least. In an era where a high percentage of jazz vocalists focus on the technique and articulation of the notes, it is refreshing to hear a master of song stylings put her spin on classic jazz standards completely sung in Spanish. So what about the authenticity you ask? Italian born, Bennett an always striving for perfection and reaching new heights (no wonder Lionel Hampton hired her permanently) artist procured a language coach (Juan Angelogianopulos) to make sure her journey would be flawless, and I must say that it is. Bennett shines; she lures the listener in with her luxurious voice and golden pipes, then sets the mood and delivers just the right atmosphere – no matter the language – for the listener.
There is something about performers who began their careers long ago that have the something special, that individual way of phrasing that so many vocalists of today have lost in the translation. Bennett knows how to deliver a storyline within her lyric delivery even when in a foreign tongue.
Mirada De Amor (The Look of Love), a breezy rendition perfect for a romantic evening, background music for a very important cocktail gathering with friends (especially suited for the upcoming holiday) or a quiet moment at the end of the day when you need to let down the stress of the day. A well covered acorn in the jazz genre “Besame Mucho” is given a mid-tempo treatment with Spanish guitar and all the sensual bells and whistles that Spanish delights offer.
The playful “Quien Sera” is augmented with, bassist Ranses Colon, pianist Mike Levine who create a solid locking sound for Hal Batt to build upon. Batt holds many roles as producer, guitarist, at times bass and percussion including all programming of Vienna Strings.
Overall, Bennett and Batt continuing a longtime working relationship of collaboration have again put together a wonderful blend of adult standards, but this time with a delightful twist. Spanish is becoming such a vital part of the fabric with the American culture. Bennett truly offers a release that melds two cultures together with the authenticity of Spanish rhythms and language coupled with the traditions of timeless jazz classics, this is truly and lasting statement that bridges the gap and creates a beautiful tribute to both cultures. Gran trabajo Sylvia Bennett!! - Jazz Times - Geannine Reid


"Sylvia Bennett taps into the hispanic listener"

Grammy award winning vocalist Sylvia Bennett releases Sonrie, a jazz standards release with a new twist, well a Latin tinged one at least. In an era where a high percentage of jazz vocalists focus on the technique and articulation of the notes, it is refreshing to hear a master of song stylings put her spin on classic jazz standards completely sung in Spanish. So what about the authenticity you ask? Italian born, Bennett an always striving for perfection and reaching new heights (no wonder Lionel Hampton hired her permanently) artist procured a language coach (Juan Angelogianopulos) to make sure her journey would be flawless, and I must say that it is. Bennett shines; she lures the listener in with her luxurious voice and golden pipes, then sets the mood and delivers just the right atmosphere – no matter the language – for the listener.
There is something about performers who began their careers long ago that have the something special, that individual way of phrasing that so many vocalists of today have lost in the translation. Bennett knows how to deliver a storyline within her lyric delivery even when in a foreign tongue.
Mirada De Amor (The Look of Love), a breezy rendition perfect for a romantic evening, background music for a very important cocktail gathering with friends (especially suited for the upcoming holiday) or a quiet moment at the end of the day when you need to let down the stress of the day. A well covered acorn in the jazz genre “Besame Mucho” is given a mid-tempo treatment with Spanish guitar and all the sensual bells and whistles that Spanish delights offer.
The playful “Quien Sera” is augmented with, bassist Ranses Colon, pianist Mike Levine who create a solid locking sound for Hal Batt to build upon. Batt holds many roles as producer, guitarist, at times bass and percussion including all programming of Vienna Strings.
Overall, Bennett and Batt continuing a longtime working relationship of collaboration have again put together a wonderful blend of adult standards, but this time with a delightful twist. Spanish is becoming such a vital part of the fabric with the American culture. Bennett truly offers a release that melds two cultures together with the authenticity of Spanish rhythms and language coupled with the traditions of timeless jazz classics, this is truly and lasting statement that bridges the gap and creates a beautiful tribute to both cultures. Gran trabajo Sylvia Bennett!! - Jazz Times - Geannine Reid


"Grammy-nominated jazz singer Sylvia Bennett brings romance to Carmel's Bistro 211"

The timbre of flatware against porcelain has slowed to a random beat; the whoosh of wine against glass continues with coffee against the cup.
The dynamics of table talk have dropped to sotto voce, played out as a little dinner music.

Until the lights drop and a woman rises among the diners, casting them something akin to a "look of love," she begins to sing.

Striking in the silhouette of a well-cut suit; sophistication meets sass with a platinum coif, and she ransoms the attention of her audience.

But mostly for the seduction of a voice that goes down smooth, like an after-dinner port.

International recording artist and Grammy-nominated chanteuse Sylvia Bennett is in town this week, and she has agreed to create a "Romantic Evening" for an intimate audience dining at Bistro 211 in Carmel.

"One of my greatest passions, aside from food, is music," said Bistro 211 chef and owner Jon Magnusson. "An event like this creates such a sense of community in the restaurant, and to be able to combine food, music and community is my vision for both Bistro 211 and my other restaurant, Nonni's Bistro in Pleasanton. In fact, Sylvia also will perform at Nonni's on Sept. 24 from 4-7 p.m., followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception."

Coming to Carmel for nearly a decade to escape the Miami heat and disappear into the anonymity of coastal fog, Bennett brings with her the loves of her life — husband Hal Sawelson and her music — her summer


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recipe for romance by the sea.
The couple, who can't recall whether they fell in love first with the scenic beauty or the warm social climate of the area, have made Carmel their second home in what is now a bicoastal arrangement that enables the singer to reach a wide audience of jazz enthusiasts.

Bennett actually made plans to simulate a supper club at Bistro 211 before she left town last year.

"Jon had just listened to the standards on my new record 'Smile' and loved it," Bennett said. "We started talking about hosting a dinner, followed by a show, like it used to be, when these songs were written. I do a series of supper-club shows in Miami, and people seem to crave this kind of atmosphere, music, and the chance to go out on the town for a romantic evening. So we decided to create one special night in Carmel."

Singing longer than she can remember, Bennett believes she was born with a musical note in her throat, a song in her heart and the sensibility that romance is close to religion.

Her life began in Italy but played out in America where she began singing at 3, performing at 10 and entertaining on The Children's Hour, a Philadelphia children's television program, at 12.

By the time she reached high school, her voice was a blend of passion and talent, and she understood how it felt to touch people; to make a difference in their lives, their mood or their moment, with her music. She craved the connection as much as the music.

Bennett recorded and performed her first album as a pop singer until legendary vibraphonist Lionel Hampton heard in her a more soulful expression, and introduced her to jazz.

Looking to place her album with a record label, she met Hampton, who promptly invited her to audition with him, to sing with him and, ultimately, to join him on tour.

Bennett received her Grammy nomination for "Sentimental Journey," which she recorded with Hampton and released through Atlantic Records, featuring the swing music of the 1930s and '40s.

She has sung at two inaugural balls, for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and, in addition to "Smile," has released three jazz albums: "I Need a Man" in 1988, "Rainbows in the Sky" in 1991 and "Here's That Rainy Day" in 1992.

"Sylvia Bennett is a musical maven in the jazz circles," said Sandy Shore, president and cofounder of smoothjazz.com, who has been playing Bennett's music on her global radio station since her first solo release. "Ms. Bennett has one of the most elegant voices I've ever had the pleasure of hearing."

Bennett, a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, has sung for audiences numbering in the tens of thousands but is most at home in an intimate venue, where she can interact, up close and personally, with her guests.

"When I sing to people," she said, "I want to give them the best of me. When I'm with them, I feel like I'm singing to them, right there in my living room. In a place like Bistro 211, I feel this incredible connection that I can only get in such an intimate venue. I've sung for thousands, but if I have my druthers, it's this. At beginning we are strangers, but by the end, we are friends. When I do a show, it has to have meaning to it. This one is all about love. I will go into the audience and have a musical conversation with them, and in so doing, I will become part of them."GO!

- Monterey Herald


"Sylvia Bennett - Smile"

“It is amazing how versatile the Great American Songbook has become – and, of course, how much of an important resource for jazz vocalists and musicians it has become. That is the case with vocalist Sylvia Bennett – she has selected fourteen popular songs, many famous from usage in movies and musicals, and given them a Latin feel to update them. On the whole this works very well, even those normally associated with a swing beat.

And finally, but not least, there is Ms. Bennett's voice, light enough to glide effortlessly over the music, and also to be so completely wistful at the same time. This is an excellent album, rich in melody and rhythm and it reinforces that cliched idiom that ‘they don’t write them like that anymore’!”
- The Borderland


"Smile"

“Bennett’s warm–toned vocals serve her quite well here as she unleashes an assault on the Songbook in stylish fashion...Bennett’s treatment of this music delivers a musical experience sure to draw a well–deserved Smile.” - All About Jazz


"Songs from the Heart featuring The Three Tenors"

Welcome to the new classic..Sylvia Bennett' timeless voice set to elegant instrumentation and sophisticated arrangements makes this one simply stunning. It's a collection of unforgettable tunes that create a brilliant stage for Sylvia to shine on with amazing clarity. Fans of Diana Krall and Norah Jones will appreciate the organic, relaxed instrumentation whlie jazz aficionados will relish in the artful production. - Sandy Shore, smoothjazz.com


"Sylvia Bennett vocal style"

Jazz vocalist Sylvia Bennett, a totally interesting chanteuse with a propensity to use less vibrato in her vocal style, quite impressively, adds to the mystique of her fine instrument. Her free flowing lyrical style of vocalese is certainly distinctive and unique among her many peers. - George W. Carroll, The Musician's Ombudsman


"Songs from the Heart featuring The Three Tenors"

A singer who knows her way around an atmospheric love song hooks up with three great sax players of different stripes that know how to deliver and comes out with a killer little date that does the trick. - Chris Spector, Editor/Publisher, Midwest Record


"Sylvia Bennett entertainer"

Sylvia Bennett is a charismatic entertainer who ignites her audiences with the startling intensity of her delivery. - Palm Beach Post


"Lake Tahoe Music Festival"

Everyone was blown away by Sylvia's remarkable rich voice and by her delightful stage presence. What a wonderful, wonderful experience for everyone present. She is getting rave reviews here. Sylvia made it so much fun...the best entertainment we have had at any gala by far. Definitely a 5-star performance - Stefanie Olivieri, Lake Tahoe Music Festival 25th Anniversary Gala Vice Chair 2007


"Lionel Hampton speaks"

When Sylvia Bennett sings, there is a magic uniting the audience. - Lionel Hampton


"Big Band Jump"

What a kick to hear Sylvia's clear, crisp enunciation combied with her warmth gving the illusion she's singing to the listener. - Don Kennedy, Host, Big Band Jump, national radio show


"There Will Never Be Another You"

"Honoring Hampton, the album is a pop composition destined to appeal to jazz and pop audiences everywhere. …Lionel Hampton and Sylvia Bennett’s second album is staggering." - J-Sin, Smother Magazine


"There Will Never Be Another You"

“To state the case as clearly as possible, the album is a sheer delight. Hampton and Bennett were a perfect fit, their second album is remarkable and it’s a shame they didn’t record together more often.” - Jack Bowers, All About Jazz


"The Lady and The Legend Show"

Smartly attired, this silken-voiced songstress performs with a flair that captures the Hampton style of big band, swing and classic jazz. In the intimate setting of this classy theatre, this classy lady meshes the songs with high technology. The multi-media were superb—it actually appeared as if she was singing and talking to Hampton, and he with her. - Howard Salus, Entertainment News and Views


Discography

Sonrie (October 2011)
Smile (April 2010)
It's Christmas Time With Sylvia Bennett (October 2009)
Songs From The Heart ( April, 2008)
There Will Never Be Another You (2006)
Here's That Rainy Day (1992)
Rainbows in the Sky (1991)
Sentimental Journey (1982) Grammy Nominated

Photos

Bio

“Man, the lady can sing! Her magic gets to the ears and the hearts of the audience.”
- Lionel Hampton

Sylvia Bennett sings of love and romance with a warm and smooth vocal delivery that leaves you longing for more. Her passion for keeping the Great American Songbook alive has resulted in a repertoire of music that shows her love for the timeless standards.

The Italian born and American raised Bennett is a singer’s singer, having sung on TV, in Community Theater, club dates, conventions and even the inaugurations of presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Walking in the footsteps of her idols such as Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, Sylvia has opened for artists as diverse as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Jackie Mason, Dizzy Gillespie, Barry Gibb and David Brenner.

Her big break came in the 1980s, when legendary vibraphonist and National Arts Award Winner, Lionel Hampton took Sylvia under his wing and made her the first female singer to record with him in thirty years. She recounts, “Lionel validated me as a performer and inspired me to be the best singer I can be. He made me realize that the audience was the most important thing and that all I needed to do was to sing from the heart and be honest.” Sylvia worked with Hampton for ten years, touring and recording two albums together. The first, Sentimental Journey, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1987. The second project, There Will Never Be Another You, was a CD/DVD tribute to “Hamp” from Sylvia, and she furthered the honor to her mentor with the show, “The Lady and the Legend,” premiering in Miami in 2007.

Since that time, Sylvia has gone on to record four more CDs: Songs From the Heart, It’s Christmas Time, Smile and Sonríe. Her latest CD, Sonríe, was inspired by her passion for Latin music and culture, Sonríe realizes one of Sylvia Bennett’s most cherished dreams: a Spanish-language recording of timeless classics. It is an irresistible Latin seduction, a tropical concoction as intoxicating as a first kiss.

In addition to her recordings, Sylvia loves to perform in front of a live audience. She has created a unique blend of different shows covering everything from Broadway to pop and from swing to international singing in English, Spanish, and French. Her goal of making people happy motivates her to continue bringing music and joy to the world.

For bookings and/or more information contact Management at Info@SylviaBennett.com or (786) 205-1895.