Moqui in concert: “I wish you love”


All you need is…

Moqui, to warm up your Valentine’s evening with sultry jazz ballads and good lovin’ vibes.

A jazz vocalist extraordinaire, Moqui will be lighting up the Orcas Center stage on Feb. 13 with friends Martin Lund, Gene Nery, Tony Morales and Thor Hanson, and special guest Willie Thomas.

“You’re gonna feel good, you’re gonna look at the person you’re with and be in love. It’s gonna be a love in; the love’s gonna deepen,” says Lund.

The concert will include classics like “My Funny Valentine,” “That’s All,” “Begin to Beguine,” and “Just in Time.”

A resident of Southern California, Moqui has played there for many years with a group she calls “a hodge-podge of wonderful musicians and friends.”

Moqui will be on Orcas to celebrate the release of her new CD, “Sketches,” a collection of classic jazz tunes recorded last year in Jim Bredouw’s studio.

“I love coming to Orcas,” Moqui enthuses. “I’m looking forward to sharing and giving back all the love that’s been given to me over all these years, sharing my heart through music.”

The way Moqui explains it, that’s a lot of love. As one of nine children, Moqui grew up listening to her mother’s favorites: Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Supremes.

“I always knew that what I wanted to do was sing,” she says.

When she was eight years old, she remembers, “I would sneak out late at night – we had a hi-fi – and put an LP on real soft, take a lampshade off the lamp for a spotlight and sing to my shadow, with a broom for a microphone.”

Her dad caught her one night and just started laughing.

Moqui’s first “big break” came when she was waitressing at a little San Diego restaurant, Charlie Brown’s. She was “messing around” with the three chords she knew on her guitar, when the owner heard her singing and offered her a shot at the stage.

“I waited on tables for a couple of hours, then would sit down and sing,” she said.

In past years, Moqui has entranced audiences world-wide, touring Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Greece. She has been featured on film scores, voiceovers, and multiple cds. Moqui enjoys performing for small, intimate groups, and benefit concerts are her all-time favorite. Islanders may remember her best from her performance before 1,500 people at the 2007 Turtleback Rally, or from the annual One World Music Festival.

“Moqui’s vocals are buttery and beautiful,” says organizer Donna Laslo. “She’s a master craftsman with a song. ‘Nature Boy’ was sung by Nat King Cole, and Moqui has her own particular spin on it that is very unique and exquisite.”

Tickets are $15 at Darvill’s Bookstore. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.