by: Paulanne Simmons



Back in November, singer Laurie Krauz and musical director Daryl Kojak launched Jazz Soup at the Metropolitan Room. The goal was to provide jazz vocalists of all stripes a platform for displaying and sharing their talents. Since then Krauz has hosted the likes of Vicki Burns, Alexis Cole and Andrea Wolper.

On March 31, the last day of Women’s History month, Jazz Soup featured a cast of female vocalists: Hilary Kole, Susan Winter, Gabrielle Stravelli, Roseanna Vitro.

At the very top of the show, Krauz warned the audience that the soup was going to be hot. And from her first sultry interpretation of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” to her sizzling rendition of “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” she and her guest performers more than illustrated her point.

The four guest vocalists were all veterans of the jazz world.

Cole, who was the youngest performer ever to appear at the Rainbow Room, has gone on to perform at Town Hall, Birdland, Blue Note, and the Iridium.

Winter has made a name for herself in New York venues, including Metropolitan Room, where she can be found on Sundays, twice monthly, as co-host/co-producer of OPEN MIC @ THE MET.

Stravelli has performed her unique mix of standards and original songs at Birdland, 54 Below, Carnegie Hall and the Iridium, recently garnering the 2015 MAC Award for Best Female Vocalist.

Vitro, arriving in New York from Arkansas by way of Houston, decided to devote herself to jazz and shows at The Blue Note, Iridium, Birdland, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club at Lincoln Center.

These “singers’ singers” were backed by a group of musicians’ musicians: Daryl Kojak on piano, Sean Conly on bass and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax on drums. They take just enough solos to make the audience appreciate their talents and not usurp the accomplished vocalists.

What makes Jazz Soup special is its appeal to both jazz aficionados and beginners. These performers may give very personal interpretations of standards (Winter’s “Cockeyed Optimist”) or dazzle the audience with songs best known to jazz lovers (Stravelli’s “Devil May Care”), and Kole channelling Judy Garland with her delivery of the Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson song “It Never Was You,” which Garland sang in her last film, I Could Go on Singing.

But the very best thing about Jazz Soup is that it’s an ongoing event. That means you can expect Krauz to keep stirring the mix and keeping it hot throughout the year.

Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22 Street. www.metropolitanroom.com  212 206-0440