A Profile of Vocalist Corrine Mammana


Corrine Mammana

Over the past few seasons, what was once the relatively sleepy and conservative borough of Lehigh Valley, PA, has become – surprise of surprises-- jazz friendly. Bethlehem’s annual Musikfest, running since 1984 with the claim of being the nation’s largest, non-gated music festival, is presenting more jazz than ever. And the Musikfest Café’, now two years old, brings in a number of jazz attractions 52 weeks per year. On the regional level, several area musicians—notably South Philadelphia transplant, master jazz guitarist and jazz educator Frank DiBussolo—have been active in convincing area clubs, restaurants and nighteries to book quality jazz on a regular basis.

DiBussolo works with an impressive core group of instrumentalists and singers, and one relatively recent “find” who often works in DiBussolo’s jazz combinations—as well as with her own unique groups-- is singer Corinne Mammana, who manages to make her mission—to fuse jazz, Broadway and classical music—a refreshing reality.

Mammana, who has recently recorded some excellent tracks with the DiBussolo group, to be a part of an upcoming CD, is another Philly transplant as well as a graduate of James Madison University, who has an extensive theatrical background with some imposing credits, including several stints off-Broadway.

Not surprisingly, a good deal of her repertoire is made up of vintage classic popular songs from the likes of the Gershwin’s, et. al., with “Cheek to Cheek” and “Embraceable You” two examples. Mammana bridges a sometimes difficult gap between what is obviously her seriously and classically trained vocal instrument, as applied to a lightly swinging book of songs. Her superb technique is a dead giveaway. But Mammana applies her superior technique gracefully, carefully, tastefully and intelligently. There are no clichés in her singing and no licks. She wisely lets the melody and the lyric speak for themselves, and adds inflections here and there to bring out those lyrics that should be emphasized. There’s nothing forced here, which is as it should be, and she fits in wonderfully with DiBussolo’s understated guitar. If there’s a cooler version out there than Mammana’s version of Jobim’s “Agua De Beber,” then it just hasn’t been recorded yet.

While we wouldn’t want to hear a Pavarotti sing “A Night in Tunisia” or Ethel Merman warble “Ave Maria,” all due credit must be given Corinne Mammana for successfully fusing elements of classical music, American popular song standards and jazz. And she does it the easy way: With taste.

For further information on her appearances and background, visit vocalsbycorinne.com or check her considerable array of fine clips on youtube.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!

  • Email E-mail
  • Share Share
  • Rss RSS
  • Report Report

Community Authors

Bruce Klauber