For me, one of the very best things that came out of Jazz in the Gardens this year was meeting singer, Maria Zouroudis. I could say that it was love at first sight, but that wouldn’t be quite right–it was more like love at first listen. You see, she opened the show and when I saw her, I pretty much dismissed her. I immediately decided that it was too hot outside the press tent for me to go take stage pics of her. I even had my back turned to the big screens that were set up. So, it truly was her voice that captured me. I actually grabbed my camera and ran out to get shots after she started singing. I was actually wow’d at the voice that came out of this TEENY chick.
Everyone loved her. She has amazing stage presence and her soulful voice is just, well PURE. The fact that she loves covering old school R&B is cool, too. She actually did her own rendition of Paula Abdul‘s Straight Up during her JIG set. KILLED it. The press corps couldn’t wait to get her into the tent where we found out that she’s originally from from North Florida and moved here 3 years ago. AND, she has 40 MILLION YouTube subscribers and more than 10 million views! That couldn’t possibly be a fluke, huh?
As she left the stage, I actually had a chance to meet and talk to her. She’s a doll! She was IMMEDIATELY granted bestie status–in fact, I went to see her show on Thursday night at the Marriott Biscayne Bay, where she sometimes performs. The chick has talent!
Here’s one of my favorites from her–Justin Timberlake‘s Suit and Tie. What do you think of her!