With sultry looks, smouldering vocals, and songs which conjure up images of smoky cabaret bars and late-night liasons, Maria Tecce – US-born singer – is making a welcome return to the Fringe this year.
Featuring a set which sizzles through numbers by Tom Waits, Nina Simone and Led Zeppelin, seductively wrapped in her velvet voice and performed in the intimate surroundings of the Assembly Rooms Supper Room, Maria’s new Edinburgh show is sure to appeal to those who like their music shaken not stirred – and will likely set a few pulses racing into the bargain.
Maria was kind enough to speak to us to tells us a little bit more about her show – and some of her favourite things about Edinburgh…and Scottish men.
Please can you tell us a little about yourself, and your show?
I’m a suburban girl from Boston, Ma. on the East coast of America who was trained to be an English teacher, became a cowgirl, and wound up on the highways and byways of Europe and the UK.
I started singing a few gigs here and there in 2002 and before I knew it I was making my living with my voice full-time.
I just got my EU citizenship in March 2010, a journey that has taken 10 years and fulfilled a dream, so I’m very excited about not having to spend time explaining myself at the passport window every time I come back to Europe!
I’m so fortunate this year that I’m back at Assembly Rooms, I’ve got an earlier time slot of 18:40 so I get to catch everyone before they head off for dinner.
My show is called Maria Tecce – Strapless and each one of the songs in the show is a vignette about the trials and seductions of love and loving, all of which I can relate to first-hand, which probably half the audience can as well.
It’s about being vulnerable, fragile, sassy, and strong; finding love, losing it, falling down and getting a bloody nose because of it, fantasizing about it, and good old fashion lust.
Take Eartha Kitt, add a dash of Audrey Hepburn, and spike it with Kurt Weill, Led Zepeplin, and Nina Simone. It’s going to be lovely little ride.
All’s fair in love and seduction…
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
Eartha Kitt, Sarah Vaughn, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, Maria Callas, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Carlos Gardel, Astor Piazzolla.
You were at the Fringe last year – how did you find it?
Yes, last year was my baptism as a Fringe baby, I had such a positive experience.
It was manic, for sure, but I had prepared myself for complete mayhem and was ready for pretty much anything. I had hired excellent people and had a great production team.
As I wear the hats of musical director, producer, and performer, it’s important for me to know I have people working for me who I can count on.
What were your favourite experiences?
Favorite experiences include many dinners and drinks with Pajama Men, midnight trysts in the Assembly Bar, Turkish nibbles & learning to tightrope walk in the wee hours with a most delectable Italian stallion, and lots and lots of bubbles served very cold and with excellent company.
What are you most looking forward to about returning to the Fringe; and to Edinburgh itself?
I looking forward to being inspired, both by people and performances.
And I’m also looking forward to Scottish men, such a welcome breath of fresh air! They have an uncanny knack for being both charming and cuttingly witty, and the pickings are thankfully plentiful in Edinburgh, if I remember rightly.
Who else at the Fringe are you planning on seeing; or would like to see?
I’m looking forward to seeing Meow Meow, queen of cabaret, I think she’s a true pro.
I’m looking forward to taking in as much as I can. I’d like to see more dance this year as well.
I’m also planning to catch Freefall by Corn Exchange. I’ll be perusing the program in full pretty sharpish when I get there.
What do you have planned after the Fringe?
I’ll be launching my third album ‘Viva’ in Dublin September 10th so preparations for that will be keeping me busy during the Fringe Festival during the day. I’ll also be performing in New York and Boston in October so planning for those gigs will be keeping me busy, too!
You can buy tickets for Maria Tecce: Strapless at the Assembly website.
Visit Maria’s personal website to find out more about her and listen to some samples of her songs.