The New Orleans Jazz Fest features many stellar bands and performers representative of different genres from all over the world—it's what makes this event so special. But for an enchanting performance by a classic jazz songbird, look no further than Anaïs St. John.
Related: Read more on the all-AXS Jazz Fest Guide
The daughter of esteemed jazz saxophonist and ethnomusicologist Marion Brown, the classically trained St. John earned her masters degree from the University of New Orleans in vocal performance. One's first impression of the glamorous St. John when she hits the stage is to wonder why she's not a model in addition to a musician, but actually she is—and an actress to boot. But most importantly, St. John is also a music teacher in New Orleans. What an honorable tribute to music, not only to shine for audiences but to pass the training and culture down to the city's youth as well.
St. John uses her operatic and theatrical training to create a performance in the truest sense. There's no sitting still in front of the microphone for an entire set for this crooner. St. John performs in classic cabaret tradition by dancing and sashaying, flirting and joking, literally bringing music to life. She is a special current day vocalist who exudes glamour and class in everything she does. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, featuring St. John's masterful command of the golden days of jazz. She takes on some of the classics like "Whatever Lola Wants," "I Love Paris," and the song that could have easily been written for St. John had it not already decades earlier, the sizzling "I Wanna Be Evil."
As excited as Anaïs St. John fans are for her performance at this year's Jazz Fest, St. John is elated herself: "After experiencing the joy and excitement of international jazz fests such as Umbria and Ascona, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play in my home town, and show New Orleans what I have become," explains St. John, "It is a lifelong dream come true."
After crowds catch Anaïs St. John's performance at Jazz Fest and the fairgrounds close their gates for the evening, they can see even more St. John performing Friday and Saturday nights at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans 8 Block Kitchen & Bar.
Anaïs St. John
Jazz Fest Performance: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Go see this if: Hear strong vocals, enjoy classic songs with a dazzling performance and cabaret jazz