Another sparkle will be added to the dazzle at the new Fairmont Nile City hotel to open this month. The duo called “Diamond Life, consisting of vocalist Carrie Gibson and accompanist Joe Bashorun, and who will soon perform at the hotel’s O Bar, refuse to be pigeonholed into one category of music.
“We don’t like to get tied down, said the Vancouver-based duo, whose work has also seen them traveling to the Far East, performing in places like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Gibson and Bashorun have been a couple for nine years, and first met 14 years ago. Once a back-up vocalist for the likes of Ricky Martin and Tina Arena, Gibson now prefers to perform at the fore.
“We love the intimacy of the two of us playing, says Gibson. The singer and Bashorun share a veritable partnership. Though Gibson jokes that after having done her share of backup, she’d like some attention herself; she more than willingly enthuses, “Take it away, Joe! to Bashorun’s solos.
Bashorun himself has also worked on recordings with famous artists such as Annie Lennox, Des’ree, Jamiroquai, and Buddy Miles. It was at a 1996 solo recording for Buddy Miles that Bashorun first met Gibson. The duo is also part of a seven-piece club band called “Masterplan which they consider their “core band.
“We’ve been doing soul, jazz, and blues our entire life, said Gibson, and becoming a traveling duo came as part of “our evolution as musicians.
The two-person format allows them to “bring energy to a smaller stage, Bashorun said. “You don’t really need amplification. You bring it from the inside.
In the lobby of the Fairmont Nile City Towers, the twosome treated Daily News Egypt to an afternoon performance of jazz numbers. Hotel staff stopped to listen and pay their compliments.
The set consisted of classic soul and jazz numbers. Gibson inserts the impromptu “Beyoncé is not his style / Not even that Angelina Jolie smile into the lyrics of “My Baby Just Cares For Me. Gibson and Bashorun maintain a playful banter during the song, talking to each other through the lyrics.
Standing by the piano as she starts singing “Route 66, Gibson takes a side for Bashorun’s solo on the piano. His masterful playing fills her silences. He later tells Daily News Egypt he’s played the piano for longer than he cares to remember.
With “(Why Don’t You Take) All of Me the duo demonstrate the same balance and partnership, signaling for each other to take the stage, and supporting each other.
The intimacy induced by years of performing together shines out in her soulful performance of “If I Ain’t Got You. Gibson starts off sitting next to Bashorun at the piano as she sings the opening lyrics to the Alicia Keys number: “Some people live for the fortune / Some people live just for the fame. But as she moves towards the chorus of the song, Gibson is charged up and standing tall, singing, “Some people want it all
But I don’t want nothing at all / If it ain’t you baby.
As promised, the duo delivers both intimacy and amplification, the modulations in Gibson’s voice teased out by the masterful accompaniment of Bashorun on the piano. Diamond Life says they don’t linger on the lazy jazz numbers only, and by the third or fourth set you can see them taking over the club scene. Whether they do it as well as the soul numbers is a fact that remains to be seen.
Diamond Life is set to perform at the Fairmont Nile City next week on Thursday, January 28. The duo will be in Cairo for at least another six months performing at the hotel’s O Bar.