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Interview with Irina Sârbu

Thursday, 6 April 2023 , ora 11.17

The singer Irina Sârbu is celebrating 20 years of activity through a special concert with the Radio Big Band, conducted by Simona Strungaru. The event will take place on Thursday, April 6th, from 7 p.m, at Sala Radio. The choice of this stage has a symbolic significance for the soloist, because she debuted here exactly two decades ago. Irina Sârbu tells us more about her anniversary concert, in an interview conducted by Viorel Grecu.

What do you remember from your first concert at Sala Radio, two decades ago, and what did that debut meant to you then?

First of all, it meant a great honor and a "challenge" to be able to be on the stage of Sala Radio, so young, fresh out of George Enescu high school. I also remember the songs I have played in. I sang Summertime, Fly me to the Moon. I was a little scared and very emotional, but here I am after 20 years back on the same stage much more confident and mature after all this time.

On this stage you've played before in this entire interval. Tell us something about Thursday's concert, what to expect in terms of the repertoire, the status of this anniversary concert?

I decided together with conductor SimonaStrungaru and the Radio Big Band that it would be an extremely classical concert, with classical themes, George & Ira Gershwin, very well-known pieces, jazz standards. Precisely because I am celebrating 20 years of jazz, we decided to make it 100 percent classical. I'm also going to have a few surprise guests that I don't want to reveal right now. The repertoire is extremely dynamic, songs also sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Fever, I Got Rhythm, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, many cool and well-known songs.

What else can you tell us about your plans? I understand you are working for a new album.

Yes. At the very beginning of the year we recorded ten songs. I can't wait to release the album, for now it's in the mix, master chapter. I recorded together with Sorin Zlat on piano, who also made the arrangements, with Iulian Nicolau on drums, Adrian Flautistu on bass and we also had some guests on the album, Sebastian Burneci, Cătălin Milea, Liviu Negru (all of them are members of the Radio Big Band ) and Alex Man on guitar. The album is extremely personal and original. It's the first album where I've written the music and the lyrics entirely, and we'll probably release it sometime in May, because I really want to release it before my birthday, which will be in July. I'm turning 40, so a round age number and this is a gift for this special anniversary.

So there will be exclusively original compositions on this disc.

Yes. The album will be in English, because we want to reach as many people as possible outside the country. Talking about jazz, I chose English.

Interview by Viorel Grecu
Translated by Denisa Cincă,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu