Today, Banu (bah’new) Gibson stands virtually at the top of her field. A superior and swinging jazz singer, Banu is one of the few vocalists of her generation to maintain exclusive loyalty to songs of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Rather than mimic singers of the past, she mixes fresh renditions of Tin Pan Alley standards and jazz classics by Gershwin, Ellington, Berlin, Carmichael, Waller, Porter, et al. A powerful force on stage as well as on her CDs on the Swing Out label, her enthusiasm and showmanship are highlighted by her wide range and versatility.
Recently, Banu and her band appeared on Garrison Keillor’s award-winning NPR series, A Prairie Home Companion, and brought in the millennium as the only guest artist of the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. They headline nationwide at concerts, jazz festivals, clubs and jazz parties, on television’s Entertainment Tonight; PBS’s Jazz From New Orleans; Joan Lunden’s Everyday, four times as American Public Radio’s featured vocalist on Riverwalk, Live From The Landing, and at the 2001 Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
Banu toured Europe with the legendary, fiery cornetist Wild Bill Davison, and has continuously performed abroad with the New Orleans Hot Jazz in Germany, England, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and with a contingent of her band in Australia. Other highlights include Dick Hyman’s Jazz in July series New York City. Banu traveled with her pianist/musical director David Boeddinghaus for a week of performances in Vienna including a gala appearance at the Palais Auersperg, and toured Japan as the featured vocalist with The World’s Greatest Jazz Band. Banu is also highlighted in the first chapter of Charles Kuralt’s book Charles Kuralt’s America.
Banu and her band have taken their music to an expanded audience by including performances with symphony orchestras. To date they have performed more than 60 concerts with orchestras, including symphony orchestras in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, the Boston Pops, and New Orleans, and a three-night concert at the Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra.
With an extensive repertoire of songs, Banu’s performances cover many high points of America’s golden age of popular music. Not content to copy the past, Banu Gibson is creative within the boundaries of the genre, consistently inventing fresh and imaginative variations giving new life to timeless, unforgettable music.