From the album Battle Cry
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- Virginia Schenck
Download the FREE MP3 track Hear My Battle Cry by filling out the form below.
Virginia Schenck, known by the stage name VA, is a social justice champion and accomplished international vocal artist and jazz performer, utilizing both straight-ahead, spoken word, and free improvisation. VA is an imaginative vocalist with a broad stylistic reach. She can soothe her audience with a beautiful ballad, invigorate them with a re-imagined standard and challenge them with a powerful blast of free improvisation. Yet all of these aspects exist within one singular and unique voice.
Stirred and moved by the current need for civil and human rights action, accomplished international vocal artist and jazz performer Virginia Schenck created her latest album Battle Cry (2020) to use the power of music to generate change. The message of the new album is not only of resistance, but also of peace, unity, and hope.
On Battle Cry, VA fires off familiar songs, such as Donny Hathaway’s “Sack Full of Dreams,” Dion’s “Abraham, Martin and John” and “Bali Hai” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, with precisely targeted interpretation, imaginative improvisation, swing and soul. Her evocative renderings of “America the Beautiful” and “The Pledge of Allegiance” prompt fresh evaluation of time-honored symbols of national pride. A harrowing version of “Strange Fruit,” sung in wailing, dissonant passages, honors and embellishes the protest song immortalized by Billie Holiday with wrenching poignancy, made all the more potent by Jordan’s deeply rooted bass and Williams’ spine-tingling sax accompaniment.
Then there is “Hear My Battle Cry.” Propelled by a disarmingly bright, deliciously funky groove, the album’s one original song delivers the singer’s bullseye message: “Can we find the path to freedom by the truth in our lives/Find the courage, strength and hope to stand tall/Resurrect ourselves, correct ourselves, and pay our due/Hear my battle cry: I will live in truth or die.”
“Explosive jazz vocal magic”
— Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews
“the creativity on parade here is a real nonstop outpouring”
–Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“an edgy performer who knows how to convey raw emotion into her music.”
–Jazz History Online
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