I just started photographing Chantil Dukart two weeks ago and I was immediately blown away by her talent. The moment you hear her sing her first word, you're hooked. I'm not just saying (writing) that for hyperbole either, I truly mean it. Dukart's voice in enticing, dark, rich and most of all, soulful. It's for those reasons why she is this week's Artist Of The Week.
Dukart currently resides in Miami but grew up in Colorado and Alaska respectively. She's more than just a jazz singer and pianist. Her musical influences definitely include Jazz Music, but also R&B, Funk and the music from Motown. The fascinating thing about Dukart is when she's behind the piano and gets in the zone.
Last week, July 1, Dukart played in Miami at Soyka Restaurant. She was there for one night only but she constantly had restaurant patrons coming up to her, sometimes while playing in the middle of a song to speak to her, and praising her. It is nice to see people appreciating live music being played by actual musicians. Her and her combo (double bass and drums) made a connection with the people there at Soyka. I'm looking forward to the next time she plays there. The ambiance at Soyka, by the way, is fantastic! It totally fits the jazz vibe when it plays there Friday through Sunday.
The big highlights from that performance was her version of the jazz classic, "Nature Boy". I remember listening to Nat King Cole sing that song on his greatest hits album. However, when Dukart sang the song, I could hear her heart and soul. It was a beautiful moment to experience. I find it to be particularly special and a real treat whenever I see and hear a performer with soul oozing out of their instrument of choice (voice, piano, saxophone, etc.). It gives me the impression that they're in their element, in their world and all the troubles of the world is an afterthought.
But that's what you're going to experience whenever you catch a Dukart performance, soul. Like I stated before and I've mentioned this to various people within the Miami Music Scene just how much in love I am with her voice and talent. She rocked it when her and her combo played the R&B classic, "Tell Me Something Good". They played it a little slower but the groove was definitely there and crushed it! I heard the soulfulness again but this time a healthy dose of funk added for taste. If you've seen the images from either of her two performances, you can see her soulfulness expressed on her face. Overall, it fantastic performance.
Being able to capture those unique and special moments, on my camera, when an artist is properly expressing themselves through music is truly a blessing. Photographing Dukart and being there to hear her sing and play piano has been beyond rewarding and I thank her for allowing me to do just that. Musically, I've been in love with Jazz Music since I was in high school. Listening to Dukart reaffirms my love of Jazz. It's the subtle nuances, the passion, the joy and heartbreak, the romance and of course the blues.
I do wish Miss Dukart good fortune and prosperity in her musical career and I seriously wish her lots of success. I also want to thank Suenalo vocalist, Mish Elle for turning me on to Dukart.
For next week's Artist Of The Week: Carly Jo Jackson