Sunday, June 8, 2014

THE BOSWELL PROJECT - Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2014

The Boswell Project
Ballroom, Festival Theatre
June 8 & 9 only.

There are not masses of local acts in this years Cabaret Festival, but this one, is amazing. In the 1930's three musical sisters from New Orleans, created a unique form of three part close harmony jazz. They did their own arrangements, organized their own tour, traveled without chaperons, worked and influenced many people who are legends who legends 80 years later, so how come you've never heard of them?

The Boswell Project featuring the substantial talents of Louise Messenger, Kylie Ferreira and Valeska Laity as well as a crack combo of five of Adelaide finest jazz musicians, do an amazing job of recreating this unique sound and breath new life into the Boswell's music and story. Most people have heard of The Andrews Sisters, well they got their start as a Boswell cover band. Ella Fitzgerald's idol was Connie Boswell. But in the 1930's there was no TV, limited radio and so forth, so it was a lot harder to reach a mass audience. So unless you have hunting for them they have fallen through the cracks of musical history to some degree, and it looked like they were doomed to be forgotten.

Well not if these three plucky gals from Adelaide have anything to say about it. This show is put together with a lot of love, attention to detail and good humour. The vocals are nothing short of heavenly, the band is impeccable and the banter between songs is informative and often hilarious. There are unique versions of songs you should know already (It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing) and songs you really ought to (Coffee in The Morning and Kisses in the Night). There is some great shtick, special guests and some mean nose trumpet (trust me).

The reception is enthusiastic and by the shows conclusion thunderous.

They have been invited to perform in New Orleans at a Boswell themed event later in the year and are running a Pozible fundraising campaign to get them there. Details can be found at

Terrific show and one that the performers and Adelaide should be extremely proud of.

Ian Bell.     

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