Laufey: A Goddess on Stage

jazz singer curled on her knees Laufey

On June 29th, the 2024 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal welcomed the lovely artist Laufey not once, but twice to perform at two different venues. No need to mention that the experience was absolutely magical, as a string quartet and a band accompanied the 25-year-old singer-songwriter. Currently on tour for her Bewitched – Goddess Edition album, Laufey is a jazz-inspired artist who also just won a Grammy award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album this year.

At her evening concert, the opening act was performed by the charming Grace Enger, a young singer-songwriter from New Jersey who just started her career a year ago. It was just her and her guitar, but she knew how to grasp the attention of the audience with her excellent original songs and her comical commentary. The crowd was especially pleased when she performed “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer, and she got everyone singing along to her own melodies.

After a short intermission, the red curtains lifted to reveal Laufey, glowing like a star in a golden sequin dress, singing “While You Were Sleeping.” Her presence was ethereal, with the lights in the back looking like a starry sky and the string quartet fitting perfectly with her songs. She was also playing instruments, switching between guitars, a cello and the piano, thus paying tribute to her classical training. In fact, some parts were even fully classical, without any singing, which goes to show how much range she has. While she looked like a goddess, she was also down-to-earth with her humour and her relatable storytelling, as she explained how some of her songs came to be.

Before her last song, she was interrupted by a representative from the Jazz Festival who came on stage with a bouquet to announce that she won this year’s Ella Fitzgerald Award, bestowed by the Festival to jazz singers of great influence internationally. This came as a wonderful surprise to the audience who seemed very moved, as they gave her two standing ovations to congratulate her.

Laufey ended the night with her song “From the Start”, which is a fan favorite and one of her most popular songs, so the crowd also sang along. She then came back for an encore and ended with an emotional song, “Letter to my 13-year-old self”, thus reflecting on how far she has come and ending on an inspirational note.

The Montreal International Jazz Fest takes place until July 6, 2024. Info about shows and tickets HERE.