By Crispina M. Belen

Cristina Gatti – Pinay singer in acclaimed jazz band

I’m proud of the fact that there’s a Filipino singer in the acclaimed jazz band founded by jazz lover Scott Bradlee, the Postmodern Jukebox, which has recently been touring the US West Coast and Europe. I’m even prouder of the fact that the singer,  Cristina Gatti, is the daughter of my good friend Maria Carmen Jamito, who used to work at the Non-Immigrant Visa Section of the US Embassy Manila under Lyn Curtain. After Manila, Maricar and family moved to Rome where she worked with the Verbatim Team of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) there. After 27 years, Maricar is set to retire on April 30, 2019.

When she was born on Aug. 31, 1985, I announced to the world (through my column Celebrity World in Manila Bulletin) Cristina’s birth at the Makati Medical Center with the famous Dr. Constantino Manahan as Maricar’s genocologist. Cristina was born through Caesarian Section. Maricar was so grateful of the announcement and up to now, she seemed unable to forget what she  may have considered my “generosity.” She also couldn’t shake off her excitement when Asia’s Sentimental Songstress Imelda Papin brought her a bouquet of flowers when she visited her at Makati Med when Cristina was born.

Anyway, it was my second time to greet Cristina happy birthday last Aug. 31 when she turned 29.  She is currently in Vancouver, Maricar said. Cristina is also into acting (she studied at the London Academy of Drama and Music). She was in the cast of an off-Broadway play called “Sleep No More” (playing the role of Lena Nightingale) at Mandeley Hotel in New York when the musical director, Scott Bradlee,  noticed her impressive singing prowess and had her do her first video with the Postmodern Jukebox. That was in 2013. Cristina became the third vocalists of the group, the first two being Haley Reinhart and Morgan James. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox has 14 musicians.

It is said that Scott loves so much Jazz that he could turn contemporary or pop music easily into Jazz.

I asked Maricar from whom Cristina  inherited her singing talent and she said her mother was a great singer, but of course Cristina also got her musical gift from the mother of her Italian-American father whose mother was also a Broadway actress.

Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox were supposed to have a performance at the Smart Araneta Coliseum a few years ago, but it didn’t push through. Maybe in the near future, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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Happy birthday greetings today, Sept. 13, go to former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Gen. Edgardo Aglipay, former Department of Tourism Sec. Mina Gabor, Elizabeth Sison-Tagle, Chiqui Holman-Yulo, Elena Munsayac, Annie Tung, Tono Verzosa, Sylvia Zulueta, Ed Sicam, John James Uy, Rheena Baluyut, Mrs. Milagros Cruz, Ces Gahuman, Joaqui Mendoza, CJ Novato, and Sugar Mercado of “Wowowin.”