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Jazz Vocalist Roberta Gambarini Teams Up with Pianist Hank Jones on 'You Are There'

Jazz vocalist Roberta Gambarini has adanced her career since moving to the U.S. from her home in Torino, Italy. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Gambarini adds to her growing international fan base with an album of duets featuring legendary pianist Hank Jones.

Roberta Gambarini and Hank Jones first performed together at the 2001 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Their perfect musical pairing led to concert tours around the world, and eventually into the studio to record an album Gambarini described as "a dream come true."

Roberta Gambarini says making an album with 89-year-old Jones marked a career high. She praises the so-called "Hank Jones Sound," saying, "It's a sound so personal, beautiful and moving that it makes every fiber of your being want to sing."

She was still in her teens when she began singing jazz in nightclubs in Northern Italy. A scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music brought her to Boston, Massachusetts in 1998, followed soon after by her third place finish at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition.

Since then, she's collaborated with jazz veterans Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter and James Moody, as well as the recipient of the 1989 Jazz Masters Award, Hank Jones.

Roberta Gambarini sings and Hank Jones plays the title song from "You Are There."

There's no shortage of great jazz standards, from tunes by Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin to Billy Strayhorn, Hoagy Carmichael and Benny Carter, who Gambarini calls a friend and mentor during the last years of his life.