Roberta Flack is ready to sing again

The Daily Courier - - ENTERTAINMENT -

NEW YORK — Once a week, Roberta Flack gives a mu­si­cal per­for­mance for an ex­clu­sive group.

The lucky au­di­ence con­sists of a mu­si­cal direc­tor, who works with the leg­end to keep her in­stru­ment -- her voice -- in top form. It would be an im­por­tant ex­er­cise for any singer, but even more crit­i­cal given that the 81-year-old singer had a stroke more than two years ago and suf­fered a col­lapse that led to a brief hos­pi­tal­iza­tion ear­lier this year.

“I know what it is to go over the same songs over and over again, and to try to make them per­fect. It’s in­ter­est­ing and it’s hard and it’s dif­fi­cult at the same time,” Flack said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press this week. “You have to stay on top of things.”

The pub­lic will get a chance to hear the re­sult of those mu­si­cal tune­ups, cour­tesy of the Jazz Foun­da­tion of Amer­ica, when it honours her Satur­day.

“I am very ex­cited about the event, to sing, and to per­form. I’m just hop­ing that I can find the right song,” said Flack.

The Jazz Foun­da­tion of Amer­ica pro­vides as­sis­tance of all types to mu­si­cians who have suf­fered set­backs, whether they’re med­i­cal, fi­nan­cial or both.

Flack spoke to the AP at her as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity in Man­hat­tan. Sit­ting in a wheel­chair and look­ing glam­orous with curly hair cas­cad­ing down her shoul­ders, the Grammy win­ner was bright-eyed and ar­tic­u­late dur­ing a nearly 30-minute con­ver­sa­tion, though she oc­ca­sion­ally re­lied on her man­ager to pro­vide her with in­for­ma­tion.

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