Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sandi to Give Her Fans the Treatment

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sandi to Give Her Fans the Treatment

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Wonfor

It has been four years since jazz singer Sandi Russell removed herself from the music circuit after her transplanted kidney failed during a performance in Italy.

Since then, the native New Yorker, who has lived in Durham City for the past 20 years, has endured three hospital visits every week for dialysis treatment ( waiting for "that call" which will tell her another donor has been found.

But fuelled by her love of music, a determination to get back on stage and the release of her new CD, Sandi has booked herself to play at Durham's Gala Theatre next weekend ( to the delight of the North-East jazz fans.

"I suppose you could call it somewhat of a comeback," says Sandi ( completely unaware she is making somewhat of an understatement.

"And I can't wait."

Throughout her lengthy career so far ( "let's just say I'm over 50, honey" ( Sandi has graced stages across the globe and her voice has been compared to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday.

For more than a decade, the singer kept her chronic kidney failure a closely guarded secret ( scheduling performances between regular operations to deal with complications after a transplant in 1992 and taking her own dialysis equipment on tour with her.

But during a performance in Rome, in 2000, Sandi realised her transplanted kidney was failing.

She felt so weak by the end of the performance the effort of half-speaking half-singing her way through the encore made her weep ( leaving the audience feeling she was overcome by the emotion of the song.

"That was a rough night," says Sandi. "And ever since then I've been having dialysis three times a week ( and of course I'm back on the transplant list, waiting for that fateful call."

Sandi has only performed once since that night in Rome, at a private function, and she is obviously looking forward to getting back in front of an audience next week, performing songs from her new album, Incandescent. …

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