Roberta Flack ready to sing af­ter stroke

The Maui News - - NEWS -

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 hon­ors her to­day.

“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, whose long list of hits in­clude “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”

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