Tshombe Selby-An Outstanding Afternoon of Music

Tshombe Selby getting the audience to clap along in his performance of "You Better Mind."
Tshombe Selby getting the audience to clap along in his performance of “You Better Mind.”
An Afternoon Treat in Southern Shores

Tshombe Selby is a man who is going places. After being treated to an afternoon performance at All Saint Episcopal Church in Southern Shores, there can be no doubt that this is an artist who is going to make a name for himself.

And he’s local. Well, not local anymore since he now lives and works out of NYC, but there is no doubt that his roots are on the Outer Banks—Manteo to be exact.

If there was any doubt about that it was laid to rest by the SRO audience that fills date rectory for the recital.

Selby has always had a rich, powerful voice, but what is coming to the fore now is the ability to modulate that power. Even singing softly he still fills the room with music, but what stood out in his performance on Sunday was the ability to use the full dynamic range of the music.

He is also animated in his recital—using hand gestures, facial expressions and body language to tell the tale of the songs he is performing. Since many of the selections he chose for the recital were in a variety of foreign languages—Russian, Italian and French—that ability made the afternoon that much more enjoyable.

The title of the recital was “An Afternoon of Spirituals and Arias.” Tshombe has been championing the American spiritual as a classical form of music for some time and his interpretations of them create a new appreciation of what are often considered something akin to folk music.

He had some fun with the spiritual as well, getting the audience to clap out the rhythm of “You Better Mind.”

Certainly the local crowd was there to cheer him on. Still the two standing ovations were well-deserved in this case—and he did have two encores ready to go.

Accompanied by Violetta Zabbi on piano, this was truly an outstanding afternoon of music.

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