14 February 2018
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Which musicians are you inspired by and why?
Being predominantly a singer, songwriter I am inspired mostly by vocalists, voices and lyrics. On hearing Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ I fell immediately in love with her music and I then started discovering her peers. Julie London, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker are among my favourite singers because they are intelligent, sensual, playful vocalists with a powerful, intimate quality who, like Nina, tell moving stories of love and heartache and I think that’s why we continue to sing these songs today.
I love the pathos and candour in their nuanced deliveries which adds to their mystery, like they know something you don’t about life which makes you want to listen closer. Ella of course is a master of improvisation and the queen of silky scat.
What have been the most memorable moments in your musical career?
Supporting Jools Holland at the Royal Albert Hall is probably the most rapturous moment of my career. I was lucky to support him for quite a few dates at theatres around the Uk but finishing up there was the the pinnacle for me and my band.
Singing my self-penned remembrance day song at Wembley (arranged by James Pearson of Ronnie Scott’s) with the RAF choir was an incredible moving experience.
Making my album ‘Diamond in The Dust’ with producer Andy Wright was a wonderful achievement and recording my recent debut vinyl release at Abbey Road with an orchestra had my heart swelling and my eyes welling all day long.
Being flown to Necker Island to support Lana Del Rey was one of the more surreal but epic experiences!
I am also very proud to have launched a popular pop-up jazz club in my hometown. This has been very well received and I am delighted to welcome some amazing guest artists and musicians each month.
What can the audience expect to hear on Wednesday, 21st Feb?
I will be joined by my awesome band: Jamie McCredie - Guitar, Tom Moore - Bass, Dan Western - Drums and Tim Sentance - Piano/Sax. We will be singing my originals works, showcasing some new material and covering songs that have inspired me for an evening laced with emotion and good humour.
Someone once said that I take my audience with me and I think that’s the best compliment I could wish for.
What are you working on at the moment? Any projects or new music?
Over the next few months I shall be concentrating on writing my next album here and in LA and Paris. I am very excited to see how my music will evolve but it’s important to me to keep romancing my jazz roots.
The band and I are also looking forward to joining some great acts at the Henley Festival in July.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which album (or two) would you have with you?
I think it would have to be Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ because that’s where it all began and then something from the inimitable Chet Baker; guaranteed to soothe the fevered brow!