Listening Hour hosts award-winning singer

Spartan Daily
By Eric Zimmerling

Three-time Grammy-nominated artist Luciana Souza performed a free concert for nearly 200 students and faculty of San Jose State University in the Concert Hall of the music building on Thursday, Mar. 1

The one-hour concert sponsored by SJSU School of Music and Dance in partnership with the Cypress String Quartet and San Francisco Performances as part of its "Listening Hour" concert series featured jazz vocalist Souza and her crafty-fingered pianist Daniel Lockert.

Rebecca Solomon, a junior majoring in recreation and leisure, said this performance was her favorite of the 10 "Listening Hour" concerts that she has attended so far this semester.

"I want to buy her album now," Soloman said. "She was so passionate about her music. She put on such a good performance and the way that they worked together on stage was really nice."

Souza, who has recorded six critically acclaimed albums, three of which were Grammy-nominated for best Jazz vocal album, sang nine songs on the glowing accent lit stage while being accompanied by the alluring jazz sound from Lockert's black grand piano.

Souza's versatile style changed by song where she would sing an elegant slow piece and follow that song with an up-tempo performance.

Solora Foxie, a senior majoring in biology, said the angelic sound of Souza's voice made the performance incredible.

I thought it was inspiring," Foxie said. "For people that had an opportunity to go to this performance and instead went home to study or something - they really missed out because she was a really great performer.

Lockert has been playing piano since age five, performed a four-minute solo piece for the audience in addition to the songs performed by Souza.

Souza, who, according to her Web site, was awarded female singer of the year in 2005 by the Jazz Journalist Association, said coming to SJSU was good because the crowd seemed very excited about her music.

"I am a teacher myself so I understand how to relate to an audience like this," Souza said. "We had a very intimate and respectful audience and it was a pleasure to come here. They are places where music happens, and this is one of them."

At the conclusion of the concert, both Souza and Lockert entertained numerous questions from the audience.

Souza, a native of Brazil, currently teaches at Manhattan School of Music in New York in addition to recording her music according to her Web site.

Lorianna Dace, a senior majoring in psychology, said the concert was very entertaining.

"I enjoyed it," Dace said. "I thought it was very good. We have to come here for our class but of the concerts I've been to this semester, this was by far my favorite."

The "Listening Hour" concert series is a semester-long program that offers concerts every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30-1:30 in the music building Concert Hall.