Virna Sanzone is releasing her debut, self titled album, although, in a way, the connotations of such a statement could be deemed unfair. Virna's style combined with her competence, are well beyond what would be expected for a debut and her credentials would put even the harshest critics to bed. Think KD Lang or Norah Jones with street cred' & them team them with some of the best players in the country.
Virna graduated with an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies in 1998 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
She has been an integral part of collaborations with some of Sydney’s finest musicians, including the Jonathan Zwartz Trio and Thirsty Merc frontman, Rai Thistlethwayte. She spent several years as a regular part of Jackie Orszaczky's band, working closely with Tina Harrod and Jade MacRae, and sang backing vocals for the launch of Paul Capsis’ recent CD, televised on the ABC program "Live at the Basement".
Live outings of note are her recent supports for Roy Ayers and Ernest Ranglin / Monty Alexander on their last tours, playing with DIG guitarist, Tim Rollinson, and Dissociatives bass player, James Haselwood. In the studio, Virna is a featured vocalist on bassist/composer Steve Hunter's latest album, "Condition Human", both as soloist and in duet with Jackie Orszaczky. She sings backing vocals on Orszaczky’s album, "Deserted Downtown", and recently made another notable contribution to Paul Mac's soon to be released second album.
Backed by her own band, Virna performs at The Basement, the Wine Banq, Café Sydney, the Woollahra Hotel, the Arthouse & more. Multi-lingual, fluent in Italian and French, in which she is also accustomed to singing, Spanish and Portuguese songs are also within her scope. Add to this international depth, her effortless approach and unique sound infused with soul, jazz,
and shades of country, and Virna creates a passionate delivery that all vocalists dream of achieving.
The repertoire includes a cross section of sensitively reworked tunes by songwriters Carole King, Ron Sexsmith, and Bruce Cockburn, choice jazz standards by composers Mose Alison and Cole Porter, combined with country / soul classics such as "Dark End of the Street" and Billy Taylor's gospel-like "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free". Adding to the mix is
her co-write "Almost Crazy", penned with Lindsay Page (King Tide, Jungle Hammer). Virna is skilfully accompanied
by seasoned musicians including James Greening - trombone; Phil Slater - trumpet; Sam Rollings - Guitar; Matt McMahon - piano; Brett Hirst - bass; Hamish Stuart - drums & percussion. The album was produced & recorded by the late Neale Sandbach at ABC's Sydney studios in collaboration with Virna.