Two of Perth’s most popular songbirds, Libby Hammer and Ali Bodycoat, are bringing a revamped show to The Ellington in September, celebrating the timeless tunes of George and Ira Gershwin. Libby spills about song selection, inspiration,
and working with her bestie.

What can audiences expect from this show?
When doing a tribute, there are songs that one must perform. In this case, you would never consider omitting Summertime or I Got Rhythm. One of my all-time favourites is I’ve Got a Crush On You, and pianist Chris Foster and I never pass up an opportunity to perform that one! Ali and I have been working together for many years, and as our working relationship develops, so does our style. We now work harder to fit a lot into each performance: interesting information, personal stories, comedy and, of course, songs. Listeners can expect to hear many famous Gershwin songs, and some lesser-known gems that fans may have overlooked.

What keeps you motivated and inspired?
Learning is a big motivator for me. I have been known to book performances based on what I’d like to learn next in my singing journey. There’s nothing like a deadline to make that happen! There is so much to learn in the performing arts; I now feel like I can take what I’ve learned and use it for ‘good’. I am involved with EChO, WASO’s educational chamber orchestra. The idea of being able to reach, and even help, large numbers of children with original educational songs is exciting to me.

Any more projects in the pipeline?
Although still in the embryonic stage, my next big long-term project is a girl trio that involves not only my bestie, Ali Bodycoat, but also the sublime Jessie Gordon. With those two by my side, I think we can take over the world!

The Ellington Jazz Club, Sept 25-26.

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