Sophie Berkal-Sarbit

Young & Foolish

Young & Foolish is comprised of twelve tracks, which include “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die” by Hoffman/Kent/Curtis.

Young & Foolish is comprised of twelve tracks, which include “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die” by Hoffman/Kent/Curtis. Sophie puts her unmistakeable signature on this strong, up-tempo and swinging opening track; next up is the funky/sassy/cool “Letter From Home” by noted jazz pianist Junior Mance, with a great lyric by vocalese progenitor Eddie Jefferson; a true stand out is Sophie’s fluid and evocative take on Sting’s haunting ballad, “Until”; the title track, “Young & Foolish” is another perfect gem, with Sophie using her voice like a fine cello, while filling the melody and lyric with solid emotional content – a task that belies her age of nineteen; next is a sexy horn and percussion-infused rendition of Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale” – originally written for his 1931 Broadway show, “The New Yorkers”; following is the cool and rhythmic “Pick Somebody Up” from Raul Midon; then a bluesy and contemporary take on Kansas Joe McCoy’s 1936 composition, “Why Don’t You Do Right” – first made famous by Benny Goodman and vocalist Peggy Lee in the 1943 war-time film, “Stage Door Canteen”; also on tap is an inventive and exciting, Latin-tinged version of Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise”; Billy Strayhorn’s classic “Lush Life” is also impressive. Sophie sings the lyric with a youthful authority – creating her own statement within this pure, lyrical arrangement by Bill King. Billy Strayhorn was only sixteen when he wrote this tune, but its timeless meaning obviously spoke to Sophie; the following track is a super soulful take on Bill Wither’s “Grandma’s Hands”; then, a bop-laden, horn and voice driven “Long As You’re Living” from the late Chicago blues legend, Oscar Brown, Jr.; the recording closes with the rarely performed, “The Peacocks” by the late, great, iconic jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles. Jimmy was known not only as a composer, but also for his piano collaborations with stellar jazz vocalists from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, to Diana Krall and now, through his music, to Sophie Berkal-Sarbit!

About Sophie Berkal-Sarbit – At the tender age of nineteen, Winnipeg native Sophie Berkal-Sarbit is already a seasoned performer, imbueing her sumptuous voice with a heady cocktail of emotion, musical skill, infallible pitch and innate good taste. Her strong background in musical theatre has given her a comfort on stage as well as an instant affinity with the audience. With Young & Foolish, Producer/Arranger Bill King has fashioned an eclectic follow-up to Sophie’s well-received debut CD, Gypsy in My Soul - also produced and arranged by Bill King. In fashioning the new recording, Bill has utilized Sophie’s new levels of maturity in her delivery and lyrical intent, as well as an increased facility with her naturally beautiful instrument.

Young & Foolish explores love in all of its many guises and propinquities, with a central touchstone being the enduring, seventy-year love story of her maternal grandparents – the late Sara Berkal and Rabbi Louis Berkal – who both passed away in 2009, within seven months of each other. When asked about the love-oriented theme of Young & Foolish Sophie has said,

“Love stories are a dime a dozen, I’m told, but I have been privileged to have witnessed one of the greatest unions that ever was – between my Bubbie Sara and my Zadie Louis, who were together some seventy years.” Sophie’s dynamic voice is a direct inheritance from her grandfather, Rabbi Berkal – who was not only a respected and nationally revered Rabbi, but by all accounts, a thrilling cantor. Rabbi Berkal achieved national recognition during his long and distinguished career and lifetime, and was recently acknowledged in Parliament.

In her native Winnipeg, Sophie is half of the successful musical performance group, “Le Duo”, which includes guitarist Ariel Posen. She is also a key member of Bill King’s popular contemporary jazz vocal quartet, “Real Divas”. Since last July, Sophie Berkal-Sarbit has made her home in Toronto, and has quickly become a regular on the Toronto jazz scene. As part of the “Real Divas”, she has appeared on national television shows, including CTV’s “Canada AM” and CityTV’s “BT”. She has also appeared at numerous Canadian jazz festivals throughout the summer of 2009, and was also honoured to have headlined at the 2009 National Jazz Awards (broadcast “LIVE” on “Tonic” - CBC Radio 2).

Sophie has received rave reviews for her debut CD, Gypsy in My Soul, and has also had her music put into high rotation on many CBC Radio programmes such as “Tonic” and “Fresh Air”, as well as on Canada’s 24 hour jazz station, JAZZ FM 91, GROOVE FM (CJOB Winnipeg) and on numerous jazz radio programmes throughout Canada and North America.

Recently, Sophie was thrilled to have been selected by the internationally known make-up manufacturer, GALDERMA, as an “Inspirational Star” – an outstanding teen chosen to act as part of Galderma’s landmark two-year self-esteem focused ad/awareness campaign, “Show Your Real Face”.

Sophie Berkal-Sarbit recently completed her training as a make-up artist, and in addition to launching her new CD, she has been busy plying her artistic skills at fashion photo sessions, as well as on film and television shoots.