Sometimes the best things come in small packages, although people perceive that bigger is better and immediately dismiss the smaller wonders in life. In doing so, they miss out on the great things life has to offer. That’s exactly how I feel when I talk about this amazing young lady, Jackie Evancho.
I was sitting at my computer when this e-mail came across my inbox. The message read and I quote, “If you’re interested in “up and coming” music artists, I have a very special one for you. Her name is Jackie Evancho, she is from Pittsburgh, and she is nine-years-old. Jackie sings like no other nine-year-old anywhere. Jackie isn’t signed to any label, but she is putting out her own independent CD in November. I saw that you interviewed Connie Talbot…..well, wait until you hear Jackie!” Obviously, that piqued my interest. From experience most people would see a nine-year-old and say “yeah, that’s just some family pushing their kin” and dismiss. I couldn’t do it. I believe in the children of today and their art ability and I support those who express it. So, I went and visited her link and to this day I am so glad I did, because she’s exactly what we look for in a story.
What I heard fooled my ears. I was thinking that this voice wasn’t coming from a nine-year-old girl, but instead a woman in her late teens to early 20s, singing with controlled range, pitch and ear pleasing melody (mind you I didn’t see a picture of her). It was the voice of an angel! Then I got to the video, and sure enough it was a blue eyed, blond haired adorable child with a voice beyond her age.
You’d expect most nine-year-olds singers to choose a genre like pop, perhaps to mimic their idols like Cristina Aguilera, Brittney Spears, Mya, Pink or someone in that field. Not Jackie, and why should I expect anything less; this pint sized wonder chose “classic crossover.” For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a style of singing you would find with broadway, opera and gospel music. It takes the utmost control and concentration to perform this kind of genre, just ask Josh Grobin and Sara Brightman who have mastered the genre. Jackie makes it look easy. She just loves these singers and wants to someday follow in their footsteps with her own music, hopefully sharing in the success they already know.
Amazingly, Jackie never took professional lessons to achieve this vocal standard; it came completely naturally. She was discovered by her mother after watching The Phantom of the Opera. Jackie had gone up to her room to play, and downstairs this amazing sound came flowing through the air. Jackie’s mother went upstairs and sat at the door of Jackie’s bedroom and heard Jackie singing some of show’s songs. Her mom’s jaw hit the floor, probably like mine did. Then she stepped in surprising her daughter by saying, “Oh my Jackie, I can’t believe that’s you!” Her parents decided it was best to get her some professional lessons to help her perfect her God given talent. Jackie laughed when she told me what her vocal coach says about her. “Jackie, you’re the cupcake. I’m just putting the icing on the top.” She really doesn’t need much training from what I’ve already heard, and I agree with her vocal coach.
Jackie is about to release her CD, expected around November. This young talent is uber excited about this. She tells me the songs on the album are a secret, but did divulge that it will have a blend of genres from opera to gospel and even some country revamped to fit her singing style. Having a CD is a milestone for any musician, and Jackie gets the honor at the very young age of nine. This CD is an independent release; she is not signed to any label so purchasing the CD will probably come from her own website once released.
When Jackie isn’t singing or producing her CD, she is just like any other nine-year-old girl. She loves to play with her friends, shop, go to school and ride her bike but most of all she loves spending time with her family. What I love most about children in the arts is that they look invincible on stage or in the limelight, but once the show is over they return to their beloved childhood and that is the sign of a true superstar.
I see Jackie going far in her career. I just can’t see her falling like some of the children have in the past. If I had a crystal ball, where I could see the future, I would see this: Jackie won’t be playing on MTV or anything like that, but instead I see her sitting on the stage at Carnegie Hall, standing alone as a vocalist. Behind her is the New York Symphony Orchestra belting out the melody of her songs, which will surely send chills down your spine as only the orchestra can do. Jackie will be releasing that amazing voice over the orchestra to give you goose bumps on top of goose bumps. That is how Jackie will touch your heart.
In 2009, Jackie was asked for a second command performance by Pennsylvania Senator, Jane Orie, to perform at the site of the United Flight 93 crash site during 9/11. It was Jackie’s first time singing for something that special, an honor she holds dear to her heart. To be able to provide her voice to the victim’s family and her country in hopes to mend the pain of that frightful day was quite significant to the young singer. Many of us know where we were or what we were doing when the planes hit; Jackie was only a year old when that all went down.
Jackie also won or came in the top three spots for contests in the Pennsylvania area. She has also performed on a real stage at the Pittsburgh Musical Theatre.
The year 2009 also marks a momentous time for this rising diva. Shortly after the interview I did with Jackie, she had another performance for Jackie Orie, and will be on a PBS special with composer/conductor Tim Janis set to come out this fall.
For More Jackie…
If you want to hear some of her music, guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye or touch your heart, go to http://www.jackieevancho.org/. The site is also a bulletin board so you can interact with all her fans.
Also don’t miss out on her podcast with The Expressionist Magazines’s Artist One on One. She sings like an adult and talks like one, too! Jackie articulates well, and has manners typical of a little debutant. This little singer will amaze you, make you laugh and you can get to know her personally. Just go to http://www.theexpressionist.com/2009/10/02/jackie-evancho-usas-little-darlin-podcast/. You can download the podcast to your computer, listen to it on the story or get it from iTunes under “Search- Podcast- The Expressionist Magazine.