Calabria Foti hits all the right notes on “Prelude To a Kiss”

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Months in advance of Valentine’s Day, singer and violinist Calabria Foti presents an album that imitates the songs and styles of some of her favorite performers. “Prelude To A Kiss,” was released Nov. 1, 2019. This is her fourth album.

Foti was inspired by the romance and style offered of singers like Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. Using big orchestras With songs like Duke Ellington’s title track, “Prelude To A Kiss,” “I Had To Fall In Love With You,” and “On The Street Where You Live,” Foti uses her nimble voice to evoke scenes and feelings that resonate with listeners. “I Had To Fall In Love With You” is a bossa nova that Foti’s dad wrote for her mom.

About Calabria Foti

The singer is from Fredonia, New York. Her musical skills began to develop when Foti began singing and playing guitar in church at age 9.

By age 12, Foti was playing bass in her parents’ dance band. She was a working professional before reaching her teens. Foti also sang. Even as a child, she was inspired by big band sounds and the scores of classic movies, Bugs Bunny cartoons and Broadway shows.

The love of music obviously never left Foti. Throughout her youth, she sang in choirs, performed in musical theatre and sang professionally in hotels and nightclubs.

Foti’s musical journey led to her being assistant concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra at age 20. She was also studying violin. Eventually Foti made her way to Los Angeles where she found work in television, film and CD scoring.

As a young musician in Los Angeles, Foti had the opportunity to work with some of her musical heroes: Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, Vic Damone and Frank Sinatra, for example.

Sound and style of “Prelude To A Kiss” by Calabria Foti

On “Prelude to a Kiss,” Foti is joined by an ensemble that includes Roger Kellaway on piano, Trey Henry on bass, Peter Erskine on drums, Larry Koonse on guitar, Bob McChesney on trombone, John Pizzarelli on guest vocals and guitar, Luis Conte on percussion. Charlie Bisharat serves as orchestra concertmaster.

Foti’s voice shines on all of the tracks. Songs that should not be missed include “Prelude To A Kiss” and “On The Street Where You Live.”

Foti’s instrument is nimble and rich. In certain keys, listeners might wait for the singer to do a rather uncomfortable audio contortion to reach a fashionable huskiness. It does not happen. Instead, Foti’s voice floats and demands attention. Her sound and style melds well with the soundscape.

Used to set moods and weave stories, Foti’s voice invigorates the feel of each song and listeners would easily believe that all the pieces are original.

“Prelude To A Kiss” is rich in sound and texture. Foti’s inspiration can be heard throughout. More importantly, her voice engages audiences and helps them to remember the style and feel of classic songs from eras gone by.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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