Couple perform vintage jazz and pop hits

By: 
Samantha Hill

Driving cross-country, Seattle jazz sweethearts are bringing  “vintage pop” to Livingston over the weekend.

Playing Saturday at Livingston’s UnCorked, Kate Voss and Jason Goessl — who perform as Sundae + Mr. Goessl — don’t just play music but also create an act for the audience.

Voss, 33, and Goessl, 39, developed their band two years ago and have since spent most of their time on the road.

“We consider this a full-time job,” Goessl said, saying they perform mostly in the Midwest but have begun to expand to the East Coast.

The band name was created when Voss and Goessl began dating. She was living in Seattle while he was performing with a band just north of there but went to visit her every Sunday.

“I thought it would be nice if she had a nickname, and I said how about Sunday?” Goessl quipped. “But she said, ‘Can it be like the ice cream instead?’”

The Mr. Goessl part of the name comes from Goessl’s persona and dressed-up look for a performance. He said it gave him that old-timey feeling of when musicians would have “Mr.” in the title. It also brings him back to the time when men wore suits for their performances, as Goessl does.

Their genre of music — vintage pop — is somewhat related to jazz but they incorporate popular hits from the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. Songs like “Cheek to Cheek” and performers like the Gershwin brothers are part of their inspiration.

Other than their music, the couple also try to create a feel that represents an older time.

Although during a recent Enterprise interview Goessl did most of the talking, that is not always how it is for the two of them.

“I’m usually the quiet one, Sundae is the one who is bubbly and makes jokes with the audience,” Goessl said.

Goessl plays the guitar, both rhythmic and harmonic, while Voss  sings and plays a shaker and a melodica — a small keyboard that plays like a harmonica and sounds like an accordion.

“It gives it a nice French jazz sound, that you don’t hear often,” Voss said.

Before visiting Livingston, the duo was in Philadelphia to perform with several other jazz musicians.

Contrasting venues are not unusual for the two, who said they have performed anywhere from a barn to a concert hall and even at an opera house.

“I like doing house performances because it feels like we can get to know the audience,” Voss said.

See the duo at 6 p.m. Saturday at UnCorked.