The series gives young singers, singer/songwriters, and instrumentalists an opportunity to show off their talent in an intimate caf? setting, at the Kaiso Blues Caf?, Woodford Street, on Tuesday nights. The setup allows for that oft-desired creative connection of energies between artists and audiences, with acoustic ambiance that assists the music to melt into the senses.
Gall has trained vocally with the likes of Laura Franklin and June Nathaniel.
With years of singing with the Marionettes Chorale under his belt, in 2014 Gall released an independent Christmas album, Rejoice, featuring jazz and pop renditions of Christmas carols, as well as an original song, which he penned with poet, Francies Bruce.
Influenced heavily by jazz greats such as Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr, and Frank Sinatra (with whom he shares a birthday), Gall’s style is smooth and velvety after his inspirations. Accompanying him in his musical set at Kaiso Blues will be keyboardist, Reuel Williams, also a talented tenor pannist with acclaimed steelband PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars.
“Reuel and I have been collaborating to rehash and recreate well-known songs into acoustic versions with lots of wiggle room for both the keyboard and the voice,” Gall teases of the set the pair will present on April 25, hinting at a mix of classic songs with fresh and personal musical interpretations. The set list will be a reflection of the performer’s musical tastes and influences, specifically the genres of jazz, jazz-infused pop, bossa nova, soul music, and R&B. “Classics like Fly Me to the Moon and Here’s that Rainy Day, along with some Corinne Bailey Ray and Al Jarreau,” he adds of his planned set.
He admits that Unplugged and Chill is a shift from his comfort zone: “I’m accustomed to singing jazz and light pop music, but usually in concert hall settings or for church functions.” His long list of performance history has seen him headlining concerts as well as lending his voice and skill to various fundraisers and musical variety shows through recent years.
His genres of focus are classical music, musical theatre, pop, or jazz.
However, it has always been a thirst of his to perform in a club- or caf?-type setting and he is excited to take his first step on this path at Kaiso Blues, with its low-key vibe and cozy space. “I have a number of friends who have given their own shows there before so it’s wonderful to join that community,” says Gall of the opportunity to join a long line of Unplugged and Chill alum.
He adds that the producers of the Unplugged and Chill series, Yung Rudd and Mark Hardy, are open and welcoming to Kaiso Blues newcomers “so that brings with it an extra layer of comfort.” Gall’s interest in music came to a boiling point in his teenage years.
He reveals in secondary school, he and his friends spent much of their free time in the school’s music room where they constantly bounced creative energy around, playing instruments, singing, and admiring vocal legends whose styles they often tried to recreate.
“This fuelled a heightened interest in music and our constant presence in the music room led our music teacher to call on my friends and I to perform for events like staff farewells, graduation ceremonies, and school masses,” he says of his earliest days singing and performing for an audience.
During his school years, he was also known for witty comic impressions, and often entertained his friends by imitating and performing hit songs of famous singers – there was no denying he could sing. Having a small stature in his formative years, people were often pleasantly surprised – even blown away – that he possessed such a hearty and sonorous voice. In Form Five he started his formal vocal training with Laura Franklin to truly hone and understand his instrument, as well as joined the Marionettes to practice and train his vocal abilities in performance. A lover of many genres, Gall says music helped him to both find and shape his identity throughout his secondary school years – it was truly here that his interest in performance and talent first flourished, laying the foundation for his career as a singer and performer today. “This identity (started in secondary school) has evolved many times over as my understanding of performing and love of different genres has grown,” he says of the endless lessons and journeys he has embarked on since he first discovered his gift. This Tuesday, he will be showcasing his growth until this point in his performance career.
With this being his first performance of this kind, Gall encourages music-lovers (especially lovers of acoustic jazz, soulful pop music, or audience members who crave snug and personal performance settings) to pass through for his set at Kaiso Blues for his official debut caf? performance.
“I hope that Unplugged and Chill will open me up to an audience of jazz aficionados and the close community of musicians that are heavily involved with the events at Kaiso Blues Caf?,” he says of this debut.
In his future, he sees another album on the horizon, a non-seasonal one this time, and hopefully within the next year. He also plans on hosting and headlining more concerts – not just jazz – “…but shows that allow me to flex my classical muscles as well,” he says.