'I love to take chances on stage': Jazz singer puts on 'blind date' concert in New West

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'I love to take chances on stage': Jazz singer puts on 'blind date' concert in New West

Blind dates can be an exciting way to meet new people and build lasting and fruitful relationships.

They can also be a complete and utter disaster that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy.

But the risk is something jazz star Coco Love Alcorn is willing to take when she takes the stage alongside fellow musician Khari McClelland at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster, B.C. The duo have never met, but have long wanted to collaborate.

"We are basically going to have a blind date live on stage this Thursday — and we're both thrilled," she told host Margaret Gallagher on CBC's Hot Air.

The concert will bring together both artist's respective styles. In fact, many of their friends have long thought Alcorn's jazz roots and soulful voice would mesh well with Khari's equally magnetic sound.

"We've both been hearing about each other for years — and a number of people have come up to both of us individually, saying [we should sing together]," she said. "We've both been curious about eachother."

A special performance

Alcorn's musicality is rooted deep in her family. She's the daughter of the award-winning jazz pianist and vocalist John Alcorn.

She recalls the influence he had on her when she was a child growing up in Toronto.

"One of my lovely formative memories is, there was a house we had in Cabbagetown," she said. "My bedroom was upstairs, [and] I would fall asleep to the sound of rain falling on the roof, and my dad downstairs, below me, playing piano. It was just one of the most beautiful sounds in the world."

At 18, she enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, eventually developing a sound not only inspired by jazz, but one that also brought in elements of folk, soul, and gospel music.

'The spirit of jazz'

Now, after five years away from the industry to raise her daughter, she's released her latest album Wonderwall, and has reignited her passion to perform onstage.

And while Wonderwiall highlight's the artists affection for other genres, Alcorn says the album, and her onstage performances, still capture the spirit of jazz.

"I've always loved jazz music. The jazz umbrella is huge, and I love so many different directions that you can travel within that jazz umbrella," she said.

"The spirit of jazz is about connecting with he moment. It's about taking those chances, taking those risks. It's improvising when you feel compelled in the moment to do something."

Alcorn and McClelland say they'll be taking risks during their blind date performance at the Massey Theatre.

"I love to take chances on stage. I love to take the audience with me in the moment, wherever the moment wants to take us — and to me that is jazz."

With files from CBC's Hot Air

To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Jazz singer puts on 'blind date' concert in New West