Izaline Calister - Lady Sings the Tambú
In the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, barefooted singer Izaline Calister is waiting until she can go on stage. The hall is full to the rafters. Although the originally Curaçao artist attended the conservatory and is taught by jazz legend Rita Reys, the music from her childhood still has a strong influence on her. We see Calister perform at a crowded North Sea Jazz Festival, during rehearsals and in the Concertgebouw, where she shares the stage with Toots Thielemans.
In her songs, she likes to use the originally African tambú music, but also Brazilian melodies. When the film was made, she and a group of Dutch musicians were working on the opera Porgy and Bess. Obviously, that is no picnic; every musician seems to have a different sense of rhythm. At least, that is what she notices when struggling with a classic passage from Gershwin's black opera and during rehearsals with colleagues that have difficulties with 'her music'. Calister herself is always looking for her own style. 'What makes my music special? What is typical about me?', she repeatedly wonders.