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Love for Sale
by Annie Brazil
Annie Brazil (1934 to 2019) was a Filipino 'jazz' singer. Annie Brazil was born Justiniana Bulawin in Manila in 1934, attending the Jose Abad Santos Memorial School in the capital. She started singing at the age of six in front of American soldiers at Clark's Air Base, and later on at Jimmy's Night Spot in the city. She first performed with a 'big band' when she was 12, singing not only 'jazz' but also traditional Filipino songs. She then decided to take on her stage name, with her declared musical influences including Vaughn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone, Perry Como and Nat King Cole. After moving to the USA, she sang with such 'jazz' greats as Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, during a career spanning almost eight decades. In 1969, Brazil was invited by Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein to perform at the musical spectacle in New York, where she shared the stage with other 'jazz' greats like Dave Brubeck and Nina Simmons, as well as pop icons the 'Bee Gees'. In 2003, she received a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' from the "Filipino-American Jazz Society", and in the same year was also given an award by the "Asian American Jazz Festival Committee" in New York. Christened 'the Queen of Jazz' or the 'Grand Lady of Jazz' (both against her wishes, it was said), Brazil was first romantically involved with an American military base announcer called James Merk, based in Okinawa, and they had one son together. After his death at the young age of 31, she then married the music impresario David Wolfe (at which time she became stepmother to his daughter, with them adopting one boy in 1986). As a resident of the USA, she performed for 12 years at Cucina Stagionale, a 'jazz' bar in Greenwich Village, but while vacationing in Manila in 2017 suffered a serious stroke, and was advised not to make a long-haul flight back to the US. Annie Brazil died from pneumonia caused by COPD in Manila on March 5th 2019, aged 85. She leaves her husband plus their three children.
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Posted: 6th April 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace ✚", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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