“…Virna Sanzone's voice is informed by her fine melodic sensitivity, her sophisticated understanding of the jazz tradition and above all, her characteristically rich, soul-drenched feel.”


"...Shining through all of this was the voice, somewhat reminiscent of Aretha Franklin in her finer earlier years, yet delivered in a style honed and perfected by a very talented performer in her own right."

STIX (Live Review)

Having released her highly acclaimed, debut album in 2005, Virna Sanzone, is emerging as one of Australia's most captivating singers. Deeply soulful, yet with the ability to sail effortlessly through the most intricate jazz melodies, her passionate delivery and understated approach have seen her compared to vocal masters from Roberta Flack and KD Lang to Shirley Horne.


Born in Sydney, to a Sicilian father and an Armenian / Chaldean mother, Virna grew up in a multi-lingual household, that was as diverse musically as it was culturally. Studying music from an early age, Virna went on to be one of the few singers ever to be accepted into the prestigious jazz course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Here she studied with Australian greats including Mike Nock, Judy Bailey and Kerrie Biddell, forging many strong and enduring musical relationships, graduating in 1998 with a Diploma in Jazz Studies. Since that time she has worked consistently, both in Australia and overseas, rapidly winning the admiration and respect of audiences and contemporaries alike.


Though her roots are firmly planted in the fertile ground that resides somewhere between soul and jazz, Virna has been an integral part of projects that have seen her move across a diverse range of genres. Amongst her recent credits, Virna has appeared as a guest vocalist with Lulo Reinhardt, grand-nephew of the great Django Reinhardt, with South African singer and freedom songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, and as part of the recently reformed Australian band, D.I.G. She also supported Roy Ayers and Ernest Ranglin on their most recent Australian tours, performed live and for television with Paul Capsis, and recorded for Paul Mac's latest release, ”Panic Room”.


Virna spent some years as a regular vocalist with Sydney's godfather of soul, Jackie Orszaczky, working closely with Tina Harrod and Jade Macrae. She contributed backing vocals to his album “Deserted Downtown”, and recorded with him again on bassist / composer Steve Hunter's album “Condition Human” (ABC Classics). Her sensitive interpretation of Hunter's tune “Shades Of Gray” features as the opening track, while she also appears in duet with Orszaczky on a later track. While Virna has contributed to many other studio projects, she also appears on numerous recordings for radio, television and film, including “The Magic Pudding”, starring John Cleese.


Highly regarded by her peers, Virna has consistently enjoyed the company, both live and in the studio, of the highest calibre of musician this country has to offer. She has been invited to perform in bands led by Australian jazz luminaries such as Judy Bailey, Jonathan Zwartz, Matthew McMahon at the 2005 Darling Harbour Jazz Festival and most recently with her long-time collaborator, Gerard Masters at the 2006 Jazz:Now Festival, held at the Sydney Opera House, as well as for the Sydney Improvised Music Associaton (SIMA) in 2007.


Described as "an uplifting listening experience", Virna's self-titled, independently released album, features a collection of musicians who are truly masters of their craft, including Matthew McMahon, Hamish Stuart, Phil Slater and James Greening. Officially launced at The Basment in May 2005 to a capacity crowd, the recording, originally commissioned by the ABC's Jazztrack program, continues to receive considerable airplay.

Virna continues to perform regularly with her own band and as a featured guest vocalist. She is currently writing material for a second album, due for release in 2007.


“From the first time I heard Virna Sanzone sing I was struck by the beauty and power of her voice.  She is an uncommonly gifted musician and…a great asset to Australian music making.”

Dr Tony Gould


“She not only has a beautiful voice but is an accurate, skilful and passionate singer…an outstanding soloist with thrilling improvisational skills and the rare quality of being a good listener…”

Tony Backhouse





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