The musical smorgasbord of Elise Witt
Elise Witt is a lot of things, and all of them relate to music: She sings in 12 different languages (she's fluent in five), produces CDs and videos under her EMWorld Records label, teaches vocal workshops for adults and school programs for kids, and organizes the "Sing, Swing & String Week" at the Swannanoa Gathering music festival in North Carolina.
"What I love the most is a lot of pieces that fit into the bigger picture that has to do with singing," says Witt. "I wouldn't be happy doing only one of them, but I love the balance of doing all of those things.
Witt's ninth recording, Love Being Here, demonstrates her musical diversity. It contains some folk, but also includes some world music, blues, jazz and gospel as well. The idea sounds like a mess but, as with good jambalaya, when all the ingredients are mixed together, there's nothing better.
The CD release party at Emory's Cannon Chapel Nov. 25 promises to offer the same free-flowing charm, as no less than 12 fellow musicians will join Witt onstage. The guests include 94-year-old Stranger Malone, Rodger French (Deluxe Vaudeville Orchestra), Bobby Lee Rogers (Col. Bruce Hampton), DeDe Vogt and Mick Kinney.
Tickets must be purchased to the event against Witt's hippie sensibilities. "I wanted it to be free," she says, "but I feel strongly about paying my musicians."
Elise Witt plays the Cannon Chapel Tues., Nov. 25. $8-$10.