Molly Ringwald is a fascinating personality on many accounts. Most people understand her as the bright though flawed wonderkid of the 80’s film sensation, featuring starring roles in a variety of clearly classic John Hughes flicks. Yet, you would be enchanted to hear that Ringwald is a jazz enthusiast, having found her initial footing in the world of cabaret and jazz. After hearing her voice, it is wonder that she even entered acting at all, questioning what she was doing spending entire afternoons with Emilio Estevez in the first place.

The transformation or redefinition or cross-culture blending or whatever you may call it recalls significant director, Woody Allen. On one hand and to the masses, he is a famed comedy-drama director. On the other, he is a masterful jazz player, a brilliant mind behind the reed of a clarinet. The odd thing here is that Allen’s work shows displays of this virtuosity. The closest Ringwald got to jazz in her significant film roles was that climactic dance scene.

Molly Ringwald harnesses an absolutely sensation voice, and it is a bit of a shame that we are only really getting a substantial taste of it in the last few years. Ringwald has been circuiting intimate clubs in major cities for the last few years notably, and has gained a sizable and admirable following of jazz fans. The enthusiast of the musical subgenre can be considered a stuffy group, being selective in their habits and who is acceptable. If this is true, than it is all the more respectful that Ringwald has established such a profound admiration in the field.

Ringwald holds a phenomenal voice when she allows it to rise, yet produces a sultry level of sophistication and appeal during slower numbers. Her live performance, which is truly the most endearing, is where she shows raw talent as a singer and possible composer.

It is hard for anyone to shake the elements of their past. When it comes to ‘teenage actor,’ the stigma is dangerously infinite. When do you grow into a mature person, and how much of the public consciousness has you stuck in a time zone? I can relate nil to the situation of Ringwald as an actress. But I can nod admirably at any individual who can age gracefully into what he or she loves. With such an emotional empowerment, it is hard to not see the adoration for jazz coursing through every verse sung by Ringwald. The showcase is brilliant. So the question is- when does the line between actress and singer end? When do you see someone for what they love and not what the public thinks they love? Molly Ringwald is shaped by who she is now. Singing. Dancing. Writing. Acting. It all goes into the boiler pot of what makes someone who they are, and jazz is the current and perhaps most profound impression of who she is.


Regardless, does it matter?

I remember Molly Ringwald as the best thing about ‘Sixteen Candles.’ But after viewing her live performances, reading her history, and enjoying the jazz, I find comfort in reminding myself that you can be anyone, and love what you love, void of shame or discouragement, but with confidence and pride.


Molly Ringwald’s CD releases Spring 2013 on Concord Records.

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