Spanish Wedding Singer and Pianist: Introducing the Phenomenal Lucy Sassoon!
We are delighted and honoured to interview one of the Costa del Sol’s most talented and sensational wedding entertainers today. Read on to find out why the extraordinary Lucy Sassoon is in hot demand all across southern Spain…
As a singer and a pianist, your love of song and music must have been strong from an early age. Who were your biggest musical influences through your childhood, into your teens, and into adulthood?
Growing up in my home was like growing up in the Von Trapp family! We had 3 pianos in our home and 6 pianists. As a classical pianist and cellist, growing up I used to love the piano music of Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Chopin and the composers of the Romantic era. Any chance to play one of their pieces and I would. Between me and my 3 siblings there were recitals going on in every room til the wee hours of the morning.
It was the norm, though now I realise it isn’t!
My warmest, most nostalgic musical memories of childhood are listening and singing along to my dad playing Linda Rondstadt, Frank Sinatra, Julie London, Barbara Streisand and Gershwin. He plays jazz standards so beautifully it still melts my heart. In fact every chance I have to get him up at one of my performances, I do. We used to sing Over the Rainbow and But Beautiful – and may I add, the Tony Bennett Lady Gaga version of the latter is heaven to me…
Growing up as a teen the music I would listen to, which became the soundtrack to my life, was Stevie Wonder and Pat Metheny. Stevie is my complete favourite of all time with this slower ballads. His music touches me, and his voice moves me so much. And as for his upbeat Motown tracks, I love Signed Sealed Delivered, I Wish, For Once In My Life, Living for the City… there is nothing that I find more uplifting! Earth Wind and Fire, The Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Sting, Motown and Soul are yet more favourites from that time.
Lucy Sassoon, Spanish Wedding Singer and Pianist.
It’s wonderful to know that, as well as having set pieces, you are also happy to learn new songs. How long does this take you?
This really depends. I am quite lucky as with a lot of songs, I just hear it and can play it straightaway without working it out. That’s provided I know the tune in my head. That is why my song list is so extensive. If I need to learn a song I am not familiar with and it is more complex in form and chords etc, then it can take a lot longer… especially as I like to add my own touch/spin. I tend to put it on in the background constantly over a couple of days or so, in the car, at my laptop, in the kitchen… so that subconsciously I know the tune. I then learn the lyrics (which can take time), and for more complex chord structures, it may take me a few hours of going over and over it. It’s something I do over a few days.
Your solo work has earned you many accolades, but do you ever perform with other musicians at events?
Yes, I absolutely love performing with my duo, trio or four piece. This is what I am doing more of at the moment. I have a fabulous duo with a Sax player (as well as with 2 different ones I perform with that are very popular here, called Leonardo and Gary Michael); a duo with a great trumpeter; and finally, a great trio I play a really eclectic mix of soul, jazz, Latin and more modern tracks with. Side note: these are lovely and really popular music choices for a cocktail reception, as photos are taken, and over dinner.
Steinway piano in Spain.
What are your favourite hits and classics to play at the various stages of a wedding day?
For the wedding ceremony itself I love to perform all the romantic ballads and classics. I never tire of watching the bride walk into the arms of the groom on their special day, and to capture – and I guess enhance – that moment through the power of song. So it’s a wonderful privilege to perform their favourite song; a song so personal to them. I still get tears in my eyes when I witness a bridal couple relate to the emotion of the day. At the ceremony I love to perform the couples’ special requests. Particular songs that touch the heart are The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, as well as Stevie Wonder songs such as You and I, or Make you Feel My Love by Adele, not forgetting Thousand Years and All of Me by John Legend.
Wedding Singer and Pianist in Spain.
During the cocktail reception I love to perform a lot of jazz, Latin and soul classics. I’m often told my delivery reminds guests of Diana Krall. She is one of my greatest influences actually. So lovely background music – again often romantic at this stage whilst people sip their cocktails and mingle, jazz classics like The Way You Look Tonight, My Baby Just Cares, All Of Me, It Had To Be You… through to Fly Me To The Moon, Come Fly With Me, The Lady Is A Tramp, My One and Only Love, Latin songs such as S’Wonderful, Girl From Ipanema, and Desafinado. I also love James Taylor and Carole King (You’ve got a Friend) or a bit of Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, John Legend (All of me… or Beauty and the Beast, which he sang with Arianna Grande), plus lots of Ed Sheeran, Leona Lewis and Alicia Keyes. All these artists I love performing at this stage.
As for the dinner and later part of the evening, it’s great to take it up a notch with some Stevie Wonder Classics; Signed Sealed Delivered, Superstition, I Wish, For Once in My Life… then onto a bit of George Benson, The Jackson 5 (from Gimme the Night, All Night Long through to Rehab and Valerie ), then maybe some Ray Charles (Unchain My Heart etc), Earth Wind and Fire (September or Boogie Wonderland) and then it’s fun to switch to some Bruno Mars and all the fun tracks: Happy, Uptown Funk, and so on.
Can you tell us something about some of the most special locations you have played at in southern Spain?
I always love to perform at Villa Padierna and Villa Padierna Beach Club. Some of the luxury villas in La Zagaletta overlooking the views are stunning. I perform regularly at the 5 star hotels by the coast, such as Monteros, H10 Palace, Trocadero on the beach, and The Beach House. All so stunning especially at sunset.
Lucy Sassoon on piano.
You have performed all over the world, and made your home here in Spain. What draws you to this part of the world?
The life balance. After many years performing and then living in Sydney and South East Asia, it’s hard to acclimatize to the UK weather and pace afterwards! Spain seems to have got it right in that area 🙂 Such an outdoor lifestyle… and lots of music to be performed. I am also the voice of Spectrum FM, as well as a regular voice of TRE, so I had work in these areas too when I came here.
Where can we find you outside the wedding season?
At my weekly performances. Often they are private functions but I also perform at public events. I perform weekly throughout at the year at a stunning restaurant (No 1 on Tripadvisor, I believe, in the San Pedro area!), called El Cortijo De Ramiro. I love to play there. I also perform at the Fuerte Hotel and regularly at the H10 and the Buchinger Clinic, as a duo with fellow singer and friend, Helena Paul… or trumpeter James Ghi Ghi. Both are great musicians. Then towards summer many new places approach me to perform in high season.
What was your most memorable wedding performance of 2019?
At Villa Padierna… and Tikitano. The way both the venues were set up was breathtaking; all outdoors, and at Padierna a white piano was brought to the garden for me to perform. Another stunning wedding took place at a luxury villa on the Ronda Road. It had exquisite views of the mountains and ocean in the distance. The guests loved the music and the family were so warm, and wonderful hosts to their guests. We are still in touch now and they still come to my gigs!
Lucy Sassoon, Wedding Singer and Pianist in Spain.
How early do you tend to get booked up?
For weddings 4-6 months in advance, I would say. But always try contacting me, as you never know which dates I am booked and which not!
If you had to give a twenty second elevator-style pitch that sums up your unique musical style, and what you can bring to a wedding, what would it be?
Diana Krall to Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder to Adele, Lucy’s velvety smooth sounds add a touch of sophistication to every special occasion, zipping effortlessly and beautifully from Jazz to Soul.
What a wonderful and inspirational insight into Lucy’s singing and music! The Sunshine Weddings team is truly excited to be working with her throughout 2020 and beyond.