A musician ascends the stage. She’s a pioneer of jazz. A mover and a shaker. With a voice so resonant it seems as though it could shatter even the most resilient windowpanes, she still entrances the audience as a smooth operator. Pressing her lips against the microphone, her voice weaves tales of love, loss and everyday human persistence that connects with anyone listening. A trailblazer for women and performers alike, this is Basia.
No singer is quite like Basia. This Polish-born songstress was introduced into the music scene in the late 80’s and has been captivating audiences ever since with her pitch-perfect pipes and smoldering jazz-tinged tunes. Only last September, she made her way to Austin and One World Theatre for the first time in years. It was a night of incredible performances, lots of laughs and soaring emotions. This month, Basia returned to the infamous River City stage again and managed to somehow top her last unforgettable performance.
Amongst the fog and sparkling stage lights, Basia and her team of talented musicians kept the crowd mesmerized. Singing well-known hits like “Time and Tide,” “Promises” and “Cruising for Bruising,” along with new songs from her album “From Newport to London,” the audience could be seen singing along with nearly every lyric and swaying to the jazz-soaked melodies. In between songs, Basia was entertaining with life stories and canny humor. Over the course of the show there truly wasn’t a dull moment; the whole performance was peppered with guitar and saxophone solos, swing and dance, and even a choice choreographed number with fedoras to the song “How Dare You.” In my lifetime, I have seen many shows and performances, and two years running this continues to be one of the best. Basia’s voice is a force to be reckoned with, and her passion for music and enjoyment of her craft is utterly infectious. Making a name for herself and paving the way for jazz and pop singers alike, this song raven continues to be one of the best.
While no one can deny Basia’s incredible talent, it was apparent that her sound was elevated to its purest form inside One World’s theatre. Every pitch and tone of her voice was electrified, the beat of keyboards and drums could not be missed, and the deep musical harmonies of the saxophone and guitar resonated to the very back of the auditorium. Basia mentioned several times how wonderful the band sounded as a whole inside the theatre, and how happy she was to have such an intimate setting for her music. With dual performances in Austin over the course of the last year, I couldn’t think of a better venue for Basia to shine in.
It was a night of pure magic as Basia performed at the One World Theatre. The mixture of talented musicians and the perfect setting for acoustics and audience intimacy created an extraordinary performance that will not be forgotten any time soon. One World continues to be one of the best venues in Austin to see live music for both performers and public alike. Come by soon and make sure you see for yourself.