ANNIE’S DIZZY FOR JAZZ
WITH two older brothers rapt in the world of jazz, it was only fitting that Annie Mitchell would follow suit.
The bubbly 19-year-old is one of three vocalists with the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO).
Her brothers – one a pianist and the other a guitarist – were members of the collective in their younger days.
“Funnily enough, both my parents aren’t musicians but they had three musician kids. I always saw my brothers doing jazz and thought: ‘I have to do that, I really want to do that’,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell will perform the classics of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Bernard “Buddy” Rich with WAYJO this month.
She discovered her voice at a young age, going on to take professional lessons in Year 6 and later singing in bands.
“In pre-primary we would go around the mat and all get to have a sing with the marker,” she said.
“I remember that as a distinct moment when I thought: ‘I really love this’.”
The teen is a “huge fan” of jazz artists Dionne Slater, Gretchen Parlato, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald but does not limit herself to the one genre.
“I’ve got a great community with WAYJO and I hang out with those guys a lot and we’re all really into jazz but I also study contemporary music at WAAPA,” Mitchell said.
“I love soul and r&b: jazz is a real classic form and if you’re studying music it’s definitely a key genre to really look into.
Mitchell’s dream is to record an album of original songs in a crossover between contemporary and jazz. Sara Fitzpatrick
Annie Mitchell, Joe Banks and Chris Musitano will perform in the Ella, Dizzy and Buddy show.